Friday, November 19, 2010

Good or Bad? Vending Machine in Japan Knows You

Remember the movie Minority Report?  As people walked by Billboards the advertising changed to meet the exact needs of the person walking by?  We have our first installment of this futuristic movie in Japan.

A Japanese vending machine is using facial recognition technology to "know" their customer.  Based on the facial recognition, the machine determines age and gender, then recommends a drink.  Better make sure I have my face cream and lipgloss on when I go! The firm said sales have tripled when compared to previous machines.

If a woman in her 20s walks up to the machine it will recommend a tea drink or a slightly sweet product.

If you go to Japan, there is a machine in place at the Tokyo train station.  There is a rollout plan to install 500 in Tokyo by March 2012.

What is your opinion?
Should it have an "opt out" feature?
What other budding capitalists will want to use this software?
If the technology cost is reasonable and reliable, could it be deployed as an alternative to help TSA with their procedures?

"Japanese Vending Machine Recommends Drinks to Buyers", Reuters, November 18, 2010.

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