August 14, 2012
“Check in with your face” is the motto a U.S. marketing company is using to preface its new face scan deal-linking technology.
Redpepper, out of Nashville, TN, has developed technology that says it will save you money, however, the methods engaged are much more intrusive than your standard grocery store coupon.
The process starts when a “Facedeals” camera, mounted at a venue’s front door, scans and matches your face’s likeness to your Facebook profile, generating customized deals for your area according to your “likes.”
According to Redpepper, “The Facedeals app must be authorized via your Facebook account. With your help, the app verifies your most recent photo tags, using those to map the physical appearance of your face. Our custom-developed cameras then simply use this existing data to identify you in the real world. Personalized deals can now be delivered to your smartphone from all participating locations—all you have to do is show your face.”
Facial recognition is nothing new to Facebook. In June of 2011, they began receiving flak for not telling users they had begun implementing the “tag suggestions” system, which recognized people in uploaded photos.
This new brand of facial recognition technology is reminiscent of the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. In the film, an entire population walks throughout shopping centers while dozens of cameras use eye retina or iris scan technology to customize advertisements, even referring to shoppers by name.
Recently, we are seeing a growing advertising trend towards implementing biometric technologies.
In 2010, it was announced that IBM would begin using RFID technology to target consumers. According to the London Telegraph, IBM claimed the technology would “prevent consumers from being subjected to a barrage of irritating advertising because they will only be shown adverts for products that are relevant to them.”
A scientist at IBM’s innovation laboratories noted the obvious similarities to the Minority Report film: “In the film, the billboards rely on scanning the person’s eyeball, but we are using RFID technology that people are carrying around with them, so they can have a tailor made message.”
Back in February, we reported on high-definition face-scanning cameras that were installed at bus stops in London in order to customize gender-specific ads by analyzing and gender-guessing according to “specific facial attributes of the jawline, cheekbones, nose and eyes.”
Last week, we reported on a deal between the city of New York and Microsoft to begin implementing the new “Domain Awareness System,” a super surveillance database which will use 3,000 CCTV cameras around the city to cross-check citizens in criminal and terrorist databases.
Also, yesterday we reported a Wikileaks data-dump revealing the government’s Trapwire system, a high-tech surveillance grid that takes video from surveillance cameras located in stores, casinos, and other businesses and uses facial recognition technology to identify people of interest.
Although most will say the new Facedeals technology is harmless, it sets a precedent that other companies are sure to follow. Soon governments and businesses alike will know exactly where everyone is at all times.
View the Facedeals ad below: