2020 RETAIL TREND: FACIAL RECOGNITION


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Retailers and shoppers believe that facial recognition will dominate retail innovations this year, according to a survey by CB Insights.
Asia is the testbed.
In Japan, the FamilyMart convenience store chain has opened a Yokohama store that uses cameras to log a customer’s purchases and then uses facial recognition software to identify the customer and charge the purchases to the customer’s credit or debit card through their phone.
Marriott has installed facial recognition check-in kiosks in two mainland China hotels. After posing for a portrait photo and entering personal details, the guest is issued a key card. Once the guest is registered in the system, future check-ins and check-outs can take less than a minute.
Amazon reportedly is planning to open at least 500 clerk-less, cashless stores in the U.S. in the next several years using similar check-out processes.
Other facial recognition technology is available that identifies known shoplifters when they enter a store so clerks can keep an eye on them.
TRENDPOST: Technological leaps such as widespread facial recognition capability have a host of unexpected consequences. Amazon could market your picture to other retailers so that when you walk into their stores, everyone working there will call you by name and know your pants size. Hackers could steal your photo and paste it into pictures of people committing crimes or in child pornography.  
The only way to protect your image, which is a facet of your identity, will be to choose to not do business with retailers that require a file photo of you in exchange for a few moments of extra convenience.
 

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