Here’s how smartphones, tablets and huge databases will upend market research



If you’re tired of those annoying 8 p.m. phone calls asking questions about where you shop, or of carrying an Arbitron sensor to provide radio ratings, your omnipresent smartphone or tablet might well turn out to be your savior. And all you have to do is give up a little privacy.

Our mobile devices are amazing at capturing real-world data — location, temperature, movement, sound — that just goes to waste if we don’t put it to use. It’s easy enough to get a personalized experience on the web, but these types of data might make it possible to get one in traditionally more-static places such as retail and radio as well. At the least, perhaps we can expect content, price tags and experiences that cater more to our actual tastes than those of station programmers and a fashion designer’s idea of what people should be willing to pay.


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