Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
23 May 2018
Can facial recognition technology save retail?
How far will stores go with facial recognition? Especially in light of a dismal future for brick and mortar stores?
Several retailers, including Lowe’s Home Improvement, employ facial recognition technology to spot repeat shoplifters. Didn’t know that?
In fact, as Peter Trepp, chief executive of FaceFirst, tells McClatchy, “We can match a face against a database of 25 million people in just under a second.”
And you thought the way Facebook sells data intrudes on our privacy. That’s nothing. And the use of facial technology is here to stay.
According to the National Retail Federation, US retailers lose a combined $48.9 billion due to shoplifting. In fact, stores lose an average of one to three percent of their revenue to theft.
“It’s gonna work, because facial recognition promises far more than catching shoplifters. It’s going to be the process of how we shop.”
So retailers, scrambling for every dollar it can find, are going to keep scanning your face when you walk in and out the door.
Facial recognition technology demonstrates other uses too
Another reason this will stay? Consider Amazon Go, still in a trial period, in which shoppers simply grab products and leave. Cameras and sensors at the store alert you when you’re being charged from your Amazon account. No cashiers. No checkout.
It’s gonna work, because facial recognition promises far more than catching shoplifters. It’s going to be the process of how we shop. Hell, many of us open our phones with facial recognition technology. So we’re already used to it.
Think about this. Already scanning your face happens at airports, schools, hotels and even street corners. You are naïve thinking you hide in plain sight. You are seen in plain sight.
What’s next for facial recognition for retailers? Remember the Steven Spielberg movie, Minority Report? When Tom Cruise runs from the bad guys, he steps into a retail environment where marketing messages tailored especially for him broadcast straight into his personal view.
How did those messages appear? Facial recognition technology, bub. Information is power, and don’t think retailers don’t know what you buy, when you buy it AND what you’re simply looking at. The use of that kind of data is already prevalent on the internet. Why not inside a store?
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