Facial Recognition is a 2017 Trend

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Facial Recognition is a 2017 Trend


A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Panasonic Innovation Center, and facial recognition was a key element of its work. This often-heard about but elusive technology is being further developed to play a role in helping marketers understand the demographics of who is looking at what products and how consumers shop a store’s department, as well as how operators can better understand traffic patterns.  According to TechCrunch, KFC in China is working on a new “smart restaurant” that will use facial recognition and factors such as age, gender and facial expression to suggest items a customer may order. 

How does it work? The image recognition scans a customer’s face, looking specifically for information it can use to generate a food recommendation. It’s interesting because it goes well beyond the typical demographics – age, gender, race, etc – and will infer one’s mood and detect repeat customers to provide suggestions based on their order history. 

According to KFC’s tech partner, Baidu, a young adult male may be recommended a “crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings and Coke” for lunch, while a female in her 50s might be suggested “porridge and soybean milk for breakfast.” 

It’s time for supermarkets to look at the innovations taking place in fast food, and other sectors around the world, and bring them to every supermarket in the country.