(OPINION) A woman has sparked a discussion online after sharing her conspiracy theory that Walgreens is plotting to get people to put computer chips in their bodies. Turns out there’s an explanation.

In the viral video, Shannon Lamendola (@magasassy) shows viewers the futuristic screens that have been popping up at local Walgreens since 2017.

The screens are located in the refrigerated aisle, where you can typically find beverages like bottled water, soda, energy drinks, and frozen food items like ice cream. While these large fridges usually have big glass doors so you can see what’s in stock, the updated screens remove this visibility.


Instead, the digitized doors have screens with pictures of the products showing what’s inside and the price of each item. If something isn’t in stock, it’ll be greyed out.


♬ original sound – MAGASASSY

In the video, the screens are quite opaque, so you can only see what’s on the screens, not the actual items behind the doors.

As she walks down the aisle, Lamendola notices a small microphone button on the side of the fridge door. When she waves her hand in front, a small black screen slides out saying, “Voice assistant coming soon.”

While the screens are meant to be more energy efficient, help stores manage inventory, and be more accessible for people with eyesight limitations, it’s not all rosy, according to a Slate article.

On the scarier “they’re watching us” side, some of these screens literally profile customers with their sensors and cameras. Not only can it sense age and gender, but it can follow your gaze to see what items you’re looking at to serve you up ads or otherwise use the data to get you to buy, as the Atlantic has previously reported.

But as Walgreens tells the Daily Dot in a statement about these screens: “The technology does not collect any biometric data or any information that is used or could be used to identify consumers.

Instead, the technology uses identity-blind motion sensors that enable the merchandising functionality of the screen. Cooler Screen doors are internet-connected screens designed to play ads and show images of the products on the cooler shelves behind them.”

So what do you think this means for us as people of the United States of America?” Lamendola asks.

“Watch your money, watch your hand. Because pretty soon they’re gonna make us chip it, that’s all,” Lamendola says, concluding the video.

Despite Lamendola’s theory that the screens signify the start of a generation of microchipped humans, her correlation isn’t backed by any evidence. It’s more likely that the voice assistant is an accessibility feature. (READ MORE)


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