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Dutch university employs surveillance cameras to study restaurant behavior

Published by Dan on October 16, 2007 4:21 PM

A new restaurant is open for business at the Dutch university of Wageningen. Not on the menu, but ever-present at what's being referred to as the "restaurant of the future," is a full-scale network of surveillance cameras designed to monitor the every move of its patrons. What's the purpose of this intrusion? To track diners and study how different factors affect their eating habits. It's a novel idea, and fear not, University staff who eat at the restaurant must first sign a consent form in which they agree to be monitored.

The data collected from the video footage could prove invaluable to those in the restaurant industry. Imagine having scientific results that show how different elements such as color, taste, and customer service affect large groups of restaurant patrons. The project is being spearheaded by the Center for Innovative Consumer Studies. Researchers in a control room are able to view and control the various surveillance cameras. The can focus in on specific individuals and monitor everything from what foods they eat, to what table arrangements appear most attractive, and even examine their unconscious behaviors. Sure it's a little creepy, but it's also extremely fascinating.

Read more from Reuters...

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