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FaceId is picking up steam

Entrance at several CaliBurgher premises is now controlled via FaceId mostly for checking temperature (and spotting potential risk customers) but it can also become a way to personalise service. Image credit: PopId

Face recognition has become a well known biometric access method when Apple included it in the iPhone X. From that moment on people started to appreciate the convenience of just looking and be granted access. I was at Boston Logan airport few months ago and I didn’t have to use a boarding pass to board the plane. A camera looked at me and, apparently satisfied, opened the gate for me to board. Arriving in Frankfurt my identity was checked comparing my face with the biometric data on my passport and I was granted entry in Europe…

Now use of face identification is expanding further and Covid-19 is somehow contributing to it. China has been using face recognition to track people movement through security cameras (some two hundred millions of them watching at you as you walk around, watch the clip),

Now I read that CaliBurgher in California has started deploying access control to its premises by using a video camera looking at your face and detecting your body temperature. If your temperature is suspicious you are not granted access and can forget about their burghers and fries…

The video camera actually does something more that measuring your “hotness”. For employees the camera take care of face identification to enable access without having to punch a code on a keyboard to decrease occasions of contact (and potential contagion). Along those precautions CaliBurger is no longer accepting cash nor creditcard payment but only digital payment using an app on the smartphone.

On the one hand getting a burgher is becoming more and more difficult if you are not a digital native (or managed to disguise as one!) but on the other hand this is really driving a digital shift and this will be something that will remain once the epidemic scare will be over. A tiny virus is proving more effective in changing our habits than billion $ spent in advertisement over the last ten years.

As a matter of fact I received this message yesterday, right on this point:

In just two weeks (in Italy) we have solved the problem of

– traffic congestion,

– pollution

– food waste

– betting dependency

– immigration in-flow

We have got better in tracing payments and decreasing tax fraud (to justify you being out of home you need to show proof of purchase)

We have seen the uptake of digital prowness, e-commerce, smart work and e-learning

We have decreased our dependance from soccer and turned to books , newspapers, at home cooking

We have discovered the pleasure of physical activity (you can get out for that)

We have learnt to queue up in an orderly way waiting fro our turn to enter the supermarket

We have increased our appreciation for scientists and research, understood that the no-vax movement  is not good and what we really need is vaccine and vaccine

Thefts and crimes have decreased by over 75% and staying home may definitely help in solving the low natality rate we have experienced in these last decades…

Now it is just a matter of overcoming this epidemics and we are golden!

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.