Facial recognition technology paves way for new shopping experience


(Photo: Screenshot CGTN)

As technology advances, it seems that facial recognition technology is being applied to everything from payment services to entertainment, as well as making grocery shopping more futuristic and personalized.

Shopping at this bakery in Beijing is far from routine —you don't need your wallet or even your phone to pay. By signing up with Alipay via your smartphone, you get to scan your face at the cashier desk and pay. The manager of the bakery shop Zhao Zimeng said that this makes the checkout process more convenient since it only takes two or three seconds.

Over 300 cities in China with millions of customers have tried facial recognition payment. The technology benefits both customers and merchants, as it can improve efficiency during peak season for tourism and shopping. But many are still concerned about its security and reliability.

In response, Alipay's business department head Liu Yanhuo said that the system used an artificial intelligence algorithm and risk control system to make sure the facial recognition is being implemented under high security.

“We combined the software and hardware…The vivo detection and accuracy detection are also applied… and we also upgraded the payment system using a 3D structured light camera that has an accuracy rate of 99.99 percent,” he said.

A wide range of sectors now are setting to use the facial recognition technology. The security, telecommunications and banking sectors are all seeing the potential of the new technology. The growing implementation of facial recognition technology in China has made headlines around the world. A report from a business think tank showed that China's facial recognition market will reach around 800 million US dollars by 2021.