Facial Recognition Vending at Train Stations

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Photo Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

Yesterday the internet buzzed with news that a new vending machine in Japan uses facial recognition technology to ‘recommend’ drinks to customers. The machine uses sensors to analyse the face of the customer, then makes suggestions based on age and gender.

A woman in her 20s will be recommended a tea drink or a minimally sweeter product, since market research has shown they like these better.

The machines have been developed by JR East Water Business Co, a subsidiary of East Japan Railway Company. It’s been tested in one Tokyo train station so far; but there are plans to roll it out to others imminently. Sales have initially been higher than those of other machines.