Facedeals: Innovation or Intrusion?
Facial Recognition Cameras
Social media check-ins are powerful tools for companies and businesses. They allow businesses to deliver unique, personalized deals to shoppers who check in on Facebook and other sites.
Special deals can help businesses connect with their customers. They're also a great marketing tool, and loyal customers can reap the benefits with discounts, freebies, and special offers.
Shoppers can get Facebook check-in deals by using their mobile smartphones. They simply check in at a participating business using Facebook for Android, iPhone, or Windows 7.
Now, an ad agency in Nashville, Tennessee, is taking check-ins a step further by using facial recognition cameras to check customers in on Facebook. The company is beta testing these cameras in restaurants, bars, and retail stores throughout the city.
The new check-in application is called Facedeals. It uses facial recognition software to match customer images with tagged Facebook photos. The app only recognizes people who have signed up for the service.
Test cameras are currently installed at the front door of several Nashville businesses. As shoppers enter an establishment, a camera reads their faces and attempts to identify them. Upon recognition, the app checks them in on Facebook. Based on their history of social "likes," shoppers receive store coupons and other personalized offers.
Facedeals Lets You Check in on Facebook With Your Face
How Does Facedeals Work?
Facedeals has no actual connection to the Facebook social network. Facebook has not approved or endorsed the new app. Facedeals merely uses tagged Facebook photos as a reference point for its facial recognition processing.
To use Facedeals, customers must sign up for the service. The app works with the Facebook profiles of registered customers to verify photos and get a better face reading.
After the process is completed, customers can go about their daily business. If they enter a participating store or restaurant, Facedeals will automatically perform a check-in on Facebook.
Redpepper, the company behind the new app, says that businesses will send personalized offers straight to their customers' smartphones. The only thing that shoppers have to do is show their faces to the camera.
The cameras are small blue boxes with white lettering, designed to resemble the Facebook logo. These stand-alone devices operate from a 110-volt power source and a Wi-Fi connection. Redpepper used several open source technologies to develop the app: Arduino, OpenCV, Raspberry Pi, and Facebook Graph API.
Facedeals is currently limited to Nashville, where Redpepper has their offices. However, the company plans to expand the service to other cities in the United States and around the world.
CNN Report: Facedeals Camera Tracks Your Shopping Habits
Will This New App Fly?
Will the Facedeals app take off? The jury is still out. While participation requires Facebook users to sign up for the program, many people don't like the idea of cameras scanning their faces wherever they go.
What do you think about Facedeals? Is it technology innovation or privacy invasion? Cast your vote in the poll or share your thoughts in the comments section.
Reference Sources / Further Reading
- Ferenstein, Gregory. (August 10, 2012) "Facedeals: Check-in on Facebook with Facial Recognition. Creepy or Awesome?" TechCrunch. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- Gaudin, Sharon. (August 23, 2012) "Can Facedeals Overcome 'Creepy' Factor?" Computerworld. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
- Redpepper. (n.d.) "Facedeals: Check-ins Get a Facelift." Redpepper. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Rodriguez, Salvador. (August 10, 2012) "Facedeals Check You in With Facial-Recognition Cameras." Los Angeles Times: Business. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Walsh, Michael. (August 15, 2012) "Facedeals: New App Uses Facial Recognition to ID You for Discounts." New York Daily News. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
Copyright © 2012. Annette R. Smith. All rights reserved.
Published: August 23, 2012 / Modified: February 24, 2013.
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