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Facial Recognition Brings New Look To Shopping

posted 19 Aug 2013, 11:23 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 Aug 2013, 11:23 ]

Scrambling for credit cards or mobile phones at the checkout counter could become a thing of the past as a Finnish company readies to launch the world's first face recognition payment system. Tara Cleary reports.

HELSINKI, FINLAND (REUTERS / UNIQUL) - This is the future of shopping as imagined by Finnish company Uniqul … no more credit cards, tablets, or unnecessary delays.

The firm is in the final stages of developing a payment system that uses facial recognition software to link customers with their bank account.

Chief development officer, Ruslan Pisarenko says this level of automation makesUniqul unrivaled for convenience.


"You don't really have to do any actions to be recognised. The system is recognising you if you are a registered user."

For a fee, Uniqul customers set up an account using a credit card.

Cameras at checkout counters will track clients before they get to the cash register - and once they arrive to pay, all they need to do is sign their name. The cameras and software have already done the rest.

But though all that data-gathering may seem intrusive, Pisarenko insists his system is secure and only involves account holders.


"If you're not on the data base it's not storing any information. Fundamentally, face recognition technology is able to verify that you are not wearing a mask, it is a live face, that you are a human, that this face is not printed on a 3D printer."

Pisarenko believes Uniqul's technology will be tamper-proof within 20 years and it won't only be useful for shopping - but also at airport check-ins, for example.

The company starts trials in a few months - introducing consumers to what Pisarenko hopes will become the new face of shopping.