Skip to comments.High-End Stores Use Facial Recognition Tools To Spot VIPs
Posted on 07/21/2013 11:53:11 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
When a young Indian-American woman walked into the funky L.A. jewelry boutique Tarina Tarantino, store manager Lauren Twisselman thought she was just like any other customer. She didn't realize the woman was actress and writer Mindy Kaling.
"I hadn't watched The Office," Twisselman says. Kaling both wrote and appeared in the NBC hit.
This lack of recognition is precisely what the VIP-identification technology designed by NEC IT Solutions is supposed to prevent.
The U.K.-based company already supplies similar software to security services to help identify terrorists and criminals. The ID technology works by analyzing footage of people's faces as they walk through a door, taking measurements to create a numerical code known as a "face template," and checking it against a database.
In the retail setting, the database of customers' faces is comprised of celebrities and valued customers, according to London's Sunday Times. If a face is a match, the program sends an alert to staff via computer, iPad or smartphone, providing details like dress size, favorite buys or shopping history.
The software works even when people are wearing sunglasses, hats and scarves. Recent tests have found that facial hair, aging, or changes in weight or hair color do not affect the accuracy of the system.
The technology is being tested in a dozen undisclosed top stores and hotels in the U.S., the U.K., and the Far East. NEC hasn't responded to NPR's requests for an interview, so it hasn't addressed why the stores that are testing the software are staying quiet about it.....
(Excerpt) Read more at npr.org ...
Can this be used to recognize and apprehend known shoplifters? Or will that be considered “discrimination”?
A good business will treat every customer well.
This stuff has been used by Organized Gambling’s casinos for years to keep track of card counters.
This reminds me of Korean TV shows where department stores have VVIPs instead of just lowly VIPs
“Can this be used to recognize and apprehend known shoplifters? Or will that be considered discrimination?”
What a brilliant idea! Unfortunately, using software to recognize particular shoplifters would be profiling, wouldn’t it? (uhm.../s?)
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Korean tv show.
In my experience, department stores tend to be thinly staffed, so concentrating the staff on shoppers who are more likely to buy makes some business sense. However, a small retail business had better treat each customer as if she’s the only one they’ll ever see, or they’ll be out of business.
Needs the bugs worked out. Was a buxom young lass at in the employee of the Arlington COSTCO last wk who asked for my autograph. To be fair, I was wearing my spiffy white Texas Rangers cap and I’m sure they get plenty of ballplayers in that store. I reckon I do favor Nelson Cruz a bit, sans the Latin influence and slugging percentage. But still...
A “buxom young lass” comes up and asks for your autograph and you call it a “bug” ? ? ?
Want to know who has the best facial recognition system? Disneyworld. Found me on the log ride with water splashing around and I was soaked to the bone. I was amazed.
Sorry, that wasn't Disney - it was Universal Studios. Of course, Disney probably has the same technology.
I suppose there is no possibility that these celebrities might want to shop in peace, without having to deal with fan worship from salespeople?
I suppose the motive behind this would be that celebrities would automatically be tagged as rich, therefore would be the target of more focused sales efforts. I know that if I were a sales clerk, it wouldn’t mean squat to me if some celebrity walked in, since I don’t watch TV and rarely watch movies. I don’t think I’d like being told to focus especially on so-and-so because they’re the star of some TV show—as far as I’m concerned, every customer is equal.
“Was a buxom young lass at in the employee of the Arlington COSTCO last wk who asked for my autograph.”
Signing a credit card receipt is, um, not special. ;-)
Until it comes to the wallet.
That happens to me all the time. Most of the time they ask me to autograph credit card slips.
Insert the “Hello, Mr. Yamamoto” scene from Minority Report here.
I’m surprised they’re not using this for all customers. Walk in, and they should instantly know my name and buying habits. “Hello Mr. CTD, welcome back to the Disney store. Would you like to see our new Sofia The First paraphernalia? we just got a new line in, and little Miss CTD should be outgrowing hers soon. Or would you just like to see the clearance rack, now that it just dropped to 75% off?”
It would be nice if The Salvation Army store had my selections already in order when I walk in!
Well, yes. What I meant is that every customer who walks through the door should be assessed on a level playing field. If the customer looks shifty, I will watch him or her like a hawk. If the customer appears to be in a buying mood, I will suggest things to buy.
It's been a long time since I worked retail; I only worked at 7-11, but I think some of the sales tactics apply at higher level stores.
Bottom line is that salespeople should never treat a customer "special" because they happen to star in some TV show.
I was at an airport restaurant in Providence RI having breakfast before my flight. The restaurant, which was about 100+ feet away from the security area, had huge windows so you could see the TSA security lines i.e. the people taking off their belts and shoes etc. and you could sit in a booth and watch all the TSA “action”.
I see a guy with long hair struggling to get his cowboy boots on. Suddenly, he looks up, sees me looking at him. He smiles at me, waves and mouths “how are you?” I am perplexed, as he looks familiar, but I don’t know him really. So I wave back and say “ok” and he blows me a kiss. My BF is just as baffled and he thinks maybe he’s someone I knew in college.
But when he gets up, puts his hat on and waves goodbye to me, blowing me another kiss, my BF realizes who he is: Billy Ray Cyrus...
I have no idea who he thought I was, but I have one of those faces that people think they know or tell me I look like someone they know...
You look like a fan.....
Not needed. All these “VIPs” will let you know who they are all by themselves. Usually prefaced by “Do you know who I am?”
Modified sentence: These systems were developed by and have been misused by...
It depends on if the sales person is working on a commission or just a salary. Obviously anyone whom you make feel more special than another customer is going to be more receptive and buy more, so you should treat all customers like they will spend big bucks. However, when you know you have someone in front of you that is capable of spending big bucks you instinctively go that extra mile even if you are aware of it or not. This software does not point out just TV/movie stars I’m sure. It points out people who have very healthy bank accounts. But yes, I understood your original intent. However, someone who just might be a heavy hitter may walk in looking like a bum and be dismissed by the salesperson as someone to ignore and even rush out of the store. Either way it is just another tool for a seal clerk to aide them in making more money for them or the establishment.
So every store will be like the bar in Cheers?
One thing I’ll give my ex-wife (a GIA gemologist and jeweler), she’d provide the same service to a construction worker with mud on his boots and the stink of a hard days work as she would a dressed-up trophy wife or man in a three-piece suit. That proved very lucrative for her, as dirty construction workers and others who don’t look like “money” very often have lots of it. And they appreciate not being looked down upon or disregarded.