British supermarkets to trial facial recognition software for age verification purposes

Facial Recognition Software - Technology - Digital - Age Verification

Facial recognition will be used for the first time in UK supermarkets.

Facial recognition software will be used in UK supermarkets for the purpose of verifying the age of people purchasing cigarettes and alcohol. This is the first time this technology will be used in the nation’s supermarkets.

The pilot project is slated to be operational by the end of 2018.

By the end of the year, the facial recognition software program is expected to roll out and is likely to be applied more widely in UK supermarkets in 2019.

A camera will be integrated at the checkout counter to estimate the age of shoppers when they are purchasing age-restricted items. The camera will be integrated by NCR, a US-based company that makes self-checkout machines for Tesco, Asda, and other supermarkets in the UK.

The camera is expected to decrease the need for staff to approve purchases. Instead, the camera’s AI will scan a person’s fact to determine their age and then either accept or deny them the sale of the age-restricted item they want.

“Our integration with NCR delivers a frictionless and innovative way for customers to prove their age in seconds. It’s a simple process that helps retailers meet the requirements of regulators worldwide,” said Robin Tombs, CEO of Yoti, reported The Telegraph.

Yoti, the London-based technology company, developed the software that will be introduced in the NCR camera in its “fastlane tills.”

The facial recognition software does not retains any visual information about the users it scans.

Shoppers will not be required to register their identity in advance with the facial recognition system. The system will also not retain any visual information about those it scans, after they have made their purchase.

That said, regular customers will have the option of speeding up the checkout process by using a smartphone app to prove their age at the Fastlane tills. The app, which was made by Yoti, requires customers to register their ID document and face with Yoti beforehand.

Facial Recognition Software - Technology - Digital - Age VerificationIt is not yet know which UK supermarkets will first use the facial recognition software in the UK, but it is likely that the technology will be found at major retailers soon, especially since these Fastlane tills are presently used by many UK retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Boots, Tesco, WHSmith, and Marks & Spencer.

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