Tag: face

Beijing turns to tech to resolve the battle of the bog rolls

Beijing fears that locals are stealing bog-rolls from the cities loos and are turning to facial recognition to resolve the issue.

Toilet-paper theft has become a serious issue in the city, and police clearly have nothing to go on.

But the Chinese method involves grabbing a scan of your face via a built-in camera. Once it’s satisfied you’re not the same person who requested paper a moment earlier, it’ll dispense a strip of paper two feet long (about 60 cm).

If more is needed you will have to wait nine minutes before you can use the machine again.

Of course the work around for more determined thieves includes using masks or clever disguises, but one has to wonder if it is worth the effort.

The marketing director of the company that created the machine told the Times that his engineers had “brainstormed many options” for the design, including “fingerprints, infrared and facial recognition.” He said they settled with facial recognition because “it’s the most hygienic way.’’

The Temple of Heaven Park operator suggested the perpetrators are locals rather than tourists, with some slipping into the restroom on their way home from an early-morning tai chi session.

Tesco starts face scanning

Tesco is installing facial recognition technology to display targeted video advertising on screens at its petrol stations.

Dubbed OptimEyes the system recognises facial characteristics that discover a customer’s gender and age in order to show relevant video adverts while they are waiting to pay for their petrol.

There is nothing new about the technology. Pilots of bill boards which could tell what gender you were carried out in London years ago, to an underwhelming response.

Simon Sugar, chief executive of Amscreen, the firm which sells the technology, admitted to The Grocer that the technology has improved and is more like something out of Minority Report.

Needless to say the roll out has miffed some privacy groups, with Big Brother Watch’s Nick Pickles telling the Guardian that OptimEyes creates a “huge consent issue”.

People needed to be told that if they walk into a supermarket, or a doctor’s surgery or a law firm, that the CCTV camera in the corner is trying to find out who they are, he said.

As far as the Information Commissioner’s Office is concerned, such equipment would have to be clearly marked and explained as a customer enters the shop. A similar rule already exists for CCTV cameras.

What will enable Tesco to run its scheme is that it is hardly Minority Report yet. The software only scans your face, to guess what sex you are, it is hardly able to tell who you are and pull up a list of products it might think you would like.

Otherwise all a service station is going to get are adverts for petrol, Kit-Kats, Twixes and cigarettes  and you do not really need facial recognition software to tell you that.

iPads will recognise you in the future

Apple has just received a patent for an idea which uses the forward-facing camera on one of its gizmos to recognise the owner.

If the data is sent within Apple’s walled garden it means that Cupertino could automatically customise applications, settings and features to a user’s personal preferences once they pick up the device. It also means that Apple would have all your personal information stored within its cloud. But we guess most fanboys like that idea and love the attention when Apple sends them product related spam.

Appleinsider found the patent application with the catchy title 20110317872 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Dubbed “Low Threshold Face Recognition,” it describes a low-computation way to recognise a user.

It also provides a method for several users to share the same gadget. Each user could customise their personal profile with unique wallpaper, applications and settings, and that profile would be immediately accessed once the iPad recognises a user’s face.

The method reduces the impact of lighting conditions and biometric distortions on an image so unless someone opposed to the glorious Apple religion tips acid on each Apple fanboy’s face it should all work, even in low lighting.