Sci-tech

KFC uses facial recognition to let customers pay with a smile

KFC uses facial recognition to let customers pay with a smile

Instead of scanning the user's fingerprints, the next-gen iPhone is said to sport facial recognition which can be used to authenticate the user and potentially be used for services like Apple Pay. It remains to be seen whether facial-recognition payments are something customers actually consider to be useful - but with rumors that the next iPhone will have similar technology, it's easy to imagine a world where everyone is paying for things using their faces, rather than swiping their credit cards.

A health-food KFC concept restaurant in Hangzhou, China has installed an Alipay facial recognition payment system that lets diners pay for their meals with a smile and their mobile phone number.

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Ant Financial claims that the technology has reached a level of accuracy and security that would make it viable for widespread use and involves the customer getting their face scanned using a 3D camera for a few seconds. China's Alibaba has launched its new "smile to pay" service in Hangzhou in China. It includes a "live-ness detection algorithm" to prevent people from spoofing the system using photos, and it can even identify users when they're wearing wigs or heavy makeup. To add more security, it requires your phone number as well in order to pay the bills.

The company first showed off facial recognition technology at IFA in Germany two years ago when President Jack Ma showed off some basic capabilities, including the option to snap a selfie to pay. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd affiliate Ant said this is the first commercial application of the technology worldwide. Ant Financial said it has steadily improved the technology since then and demoed an updated version of it at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.


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