While a hearty Christmas lunch is usually enough to turn anyone into a pudding-filled blob, shoppers at Woolworths could soon claim that title officially thanks to new technology being trialled by the supermarket giant.
The grocery chain is in the midst of gearing up for a COVID-conscious Christmas, and as part of its plans, is rolling out a new automated system for tracking customer numbers in-store.
Three-dimensional cameras will be placed at the entrance and exit of stores to track shoppers coming and going. But instead of a standard video stream, the cameras will convert humans into ‘blurred spherical shapes’ – also known as ‘blobs’. Their mission: Prevent having too many blobs in the store to maintain social distancing.
Despite its enigmatic, and rotund, associations, the term ‘blob’ is a technical one used in databases when referring to ‘binary large objects’. Woolworths’ has partnered with global digital merchandising company Stratacache and analytics firm Walkbase to implement the technology.