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Fast Food Giants Get On Board With Facial Recognition Tech

Want fries with that smile?

Fast Food Giants Get On Board With Facial Recognition Tech Image: Alibaba/YouTube

A KFC store in China is trialling a payment system which incorporates facial recognition technology – and we reckon it won't too long until it hits Australian shores.

The Hangzhou-based restaurant is using “Smile To Pay”, which Mashable reports has been launched in partnership with Alipay, a mobile and online payment system that was developed by Chinese business Alibaba.

According to reports, the technology takes just two seconds to scan a customer’s face with a 3D camera, with a “live-ness detection algorithm” in place to fend off identity fraud.

Alibaba president Jack Ma is said to have been working on the technology for a number of years, having first unveiled a development preview some two years back in Germany at IFA.

KFC seems to be well ahead of the pack with incorporating tech into their business model, having already tested out meal boxes that can charge your phone alongside Bluetooth keyboard trays.


It comes as a Sydney café recently rolled out facial recognition software to help their baristas remember the coffee orders of their customers.

With 2000 customers now on the database, Bahista café owners Geoff Cropley and Julie Buchanan never have to jig their memory again to remember the names of their regulars.

“They absolutely love it,” Mr Cropley said, adding the technology has been able to also integrate a nifty loyalty program.

“They love being surprised when we say ‘this one is on us’.”