facial recognition, face recognition, camera

Photo : JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

A new technology that uses cameras to check a person’s age when buying alcohol is now being tested in select supermarkets.

This will use an automated age-verification system that is eyed to save customers more time.

As traditionally implemented, customers need to wait for a staff member at self-checkouts to verify their age when buying alcohol.

Camera Guesses Your Age

According to BBCNews, the cameras can guess the age of the customer.

With these self-ID cameras, customers will not have to show their ID to a staff member, making the service faster.

As of this writing, the trial is being carried out in select Asda stores in Pudsey and Stevenage in England. Similarly, Co-op and Morrisons will also be installing the system in some of their shops.

Furthermore, BBC reported that this same technology is already used in Aldi’s checkout-free shop in London.

This is part of a test of technologies administered by the Home Office in its effort to assist in age verification in the selling of alcohol.

facial recognition, face recognition, camera
(Photo : JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

How Does It Work

The self ID technology is just easy to use.

It is just like any other facial-recognition technology that is currently known, but the difference is that it is more focused on customers’ age rather than facial features alone.

This algorithm was trained on a database of anonymous faces.

Based on the BBC report, the system was tested on more than 125,000 faces of individuals aged six to 60. The system was able to guess the sample faces with a difference ranging up to 2.2 years.

With customers’ consent, the camera will use algorithms in guessing their age.

Customers simply need to look at the “age estimation” cameras on the self-checkout screen.

From there, the camera will perform systemic verification to know the age of the customer. Once verified, it will then confirm your transaction.

However, in case the camera mistakenly identifies the customer to be under the age of 25, the customer will need to use the Yoti and Post Office EasyID apps to proceed with their transaction.

If customers do not want to use the automated self-checkout system, they can always go traditional and just present their ID to the staff member available.

This trial is said to run through the end of May this year and will only be used for alcohol products.

NCR, a leading checkout technology company, and Yoti, a digital identification network, are working in collaboration for this.

Meanwhile, as the system aims to improve supermarket processes, there are also concerns that were linked to similar technologies, such as when a shop has tested a facial-recognition system in 2020, as noted by The Independent.

That test brought some issues because it allegedly gave alerts to staff members has a record of theft.

Such technologies are being developed to help companies meet the required implementation of minimum age in buying alcohol while at the same time offering a more convenient, faster, and labor-savvy process.

As such, it should be remembered that it is customers’ decision to whether use the new technology or stick with the traditional process.

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