High-End Stores Use Facial Recognition Tools To Spot VIPs

Photo Credit: Getty ImagesWhen 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.

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