KFC is experimenting with face biometrics technology in a ‘smart restaurant’ in Beijing, reports The Guardian. The restaurant features a tablet-like kiosk that uses the technology to assess demographic characteristics of customers and to offer personalized meal suggestions from the menu based on those characteristics.
The system was developed by Baidu, which also recently provided facial recognition technology to China’s Wuzhen theme park for visitor identification. In KFC’s case, the aim appears to be to impress customers with a more intuitive means of ordering, and to get a bit of publicity. Neither Baidu nor KFC have clarified precisely how customers’ biometric data is stored or protected, but KFC insists that strong security measures are in place and that the data won’t be put to any other use.
The Guardian’s Amy Hawkins reports anecdotally that during her visit to the restaurant regular customers seemed to largely ignore the new system, with a few complaining of its inadequacy in offering valuable menu suggestions. But NEC has also been promoting similar kinds of technology to a wide range of retailers, indicating that automated biometric scanning could be an increasingly commonplace experience for consumers in the years to come.
Source: The Guardian
January 12, 2017 – by Alex Perala