Surveillance cameras can be seen most anywhere nowadays. Globally, government and businesses frequently use this technology for a variety of reasons. Handing out discounts is usually not one of the regular uses, but one company plans to change all that.
A new initiative has been launched that scans consumer faces in order to give discounts. According to CNN (via Fox News), a new facial recognition camera is in the works that will allow marketers to track consumer locations by their images in exchange for deals.
The service, called “Facedeals” will use cameras to track consumer spending habits. The cameras can be installed in stores, restaurants and other commercial places where consumers spend.
The way it works is in conjunction with Facebook, users log into their Facebook accounts and allow “Facedeals” permission to verify your image. After this is completed, the Facedeals system searches through a user’s “Like” history and then delivers a customized discount to a mobile device based on preferences.
According to Red Pepper Land, the company behind Facedeals, markets this product as “Check-ins get a facelift” on its website. The Globe and Mail explains the convenience factor as Facedeals eliminates the hassle of people needing to remember to check-in, the cameras essentially do all the work to bring consumers the deals.
“The consumer is more connected and more capable than ever before. But there’s still the concept of, the simpler you can make it, the better it will be,” said Redpepper founder and CEO Tim McMullen.
Red Pepper Land touts both convenience and customization as a benefit.
“For businesses, there is no easier way to deliver customized deals. Users receive personalized offers simply by coming through the door, which removes the guesswork typically performed by both parties,” Red Pepper Land explains. “Businesses will no longer wonder which offers will stick. Patrons will no longer plan outings with a deal-a-day mindset, but can simply frequent their favorite spots and count on being rewarded.”
While the program works in union with Facebook, Red Pepper Land said it’s not affiliated with the social network.
If the convenience of facial scanning for discounts outweighs any privacy issues remains to be seen, however society should keep in mind the security factors, and the risks that could potentially emerge if this product takes off, as an NBC News report notes.
If the idea of being tracked via facial recognition creeps you out, don’t worry, reportedly this is an opt-in service, like any other app used on Facebook. Interested individuals have to sign up for the program and connect it to their Facebook accounts.