Thursday, April 6, 2017

Only in China: Facial Recognition at a Beijing KFC

By Asia Pop Culture

Have you ever walked into a eatery or food place with no idea what you are going to order.  Worry not, Baidu and KFC China come to the rescue.

Weird Asia News reports Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, recently announced the new "smart restaurant" concept in Beijing, partnering with KFC.  Baidu kiosk at the KFC location conducts a quick facial scan of the customer. So this “smart restaurant” considers your age, weight, gender and mood. Based on a complex algorithm, it quickly determines what the customer would like to eat.

For instance, the kiosk recommends crispy chicken hamburger and chicken wings to a 20-year-old male. On the other hand, a 50-year-old female receives a meal recommendation of soybean milk and porridge. Hummm.... That's sounds more like a breakfast....

I wonder if the software takes into consideration the time of the day and if there's a "NO" button for customers to reject the "recommendation"?      


This is nothing new.  A Japanese firm offers a similar facial recognition technology for dispensing drinks from a vending machines. However, the smart kiosks at KFC can recognize repeat customers. When a repeat customer orders, the algorithm pulls up all the customer’s previous orders. But in real life, people do not like any place storing their personal info (facial structure + menu preference) in some fast food fried chicken database.

This is not the first partnering between Baidu and KFC. Last year, the two opened an Original+ restaurant in Shanghai. The restaurant lets customers place orders via Baidu’s Duer robots.  I guess Baidu and KFC are still trying to figure out if customers like the robot or the facial scanner better?



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