Forget Apple Pay and its silly fingerprint verification. According to Mashable, a KFC location in China is using facial recognition technology so that customers can pay for their fried chicken with nothing more than a smile.
Called Smile to Pay, the new tech made its debut in Hangzhou. It was created to work with Alipay, which is an online payment platform developed by online retailer Alibaba. Smile to Pay and KFC note that the whole process only takes a few seconds and has built-in security to combat fraud. The kiosk uses a 3-D camera employs a "live-ness detection algorithm" so that shady hackers can't try to finagle the system. Plus, the kiosk also requires hungry customers to input their phone numbers as a second authentication factor. That seems to undo the convenience of the facial recognition tech, but it's better to be safe than sorry, especially with fried chicken on the line.
The technology has been two years in the making. First unveiled at IFA in Germany, the company behind all the bells and whistles, Megvii, has been working hard to create a customer-facing product. After amassing over $100 (£77) million in funding, it seems that the KFC venture is the company's first big foray into the seemingly disparate worlds of fast food and facial recognition.
Mashable adds that KFC has introduced the tech in China before. Last year, the chain used similar facial recognition technology in select "smart restaurants" to make menu suggestions to customers based on their age, gender, and even perceived mood.
While it does seem easier to smile for a camera and type in a phone number than swipe a card, it may be a while before customers are comfortable with something as space-aged as facial recognition. However, Mashable mentions that the new iPhone is rumoured to have the feature built-in, which should make people everywhere more open to the idea.
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