Facial Recognition Software To Tell People They Look Too Young To Smoke

from the prepare-to-show-id-if-you-look-under-30 dept

In the aftermath of 9/11, facial recognition software was a hot topic for a while. The idea was that it could be used to help catch criminals and terrorists as they wandered through cities or airports. There was just one little problem: it didn't work. And, by didn't work, I don't mean it sorta worked some of the time. I mean, it didn't work at all. The places that tested it out soon ditched it as a total waste of time and money. It turns out that making an exact match on faces is not an easy problem, and while the technology may eventually reach that point, it's nowhere near close enough to be useful for things like finding terrorists. That doesn't mean it can't be used in other scenarios, and over in Japan it appears that they're about to put facial recognition to the test as a way of stopping kids from smoking. Yes, one company has integrated facial recognition software with cigarette vending machines, so that it will not sell you your pack of smokes if you happen to have a babyface. You can wonder how effective this might be (my guess: not very effective), but it's still interesting to see those behind facial recognition software looking for different markets where the results don't need to be as perfect.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Brian, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 2:57am

    Anyone with a brain can just hold up a photo in front of the vending machine?

     

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    Duh, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 3:00am

    Or

    Or they could wear an old witch halloween mask.

     

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    Trerro, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 4:15am

    Someone needs to hold up a cat and see if the machine crashes. :P

     

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    Common Sensei, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 4:23am

    I have a feeling that the oldest-looking kid in school is going to make a "killing", so to speak (why let only the smokes do that job?). At least until they start ID'ing the faces and arresting tobacco-buyers!

     

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    Shohat, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 5:18am

    Bleh

    As sad as it is, this just shows that we are living in modern dark ages - no technological development, just slow sluggish progression.
    That's what you get when there is not a single war in the whole world. Nobody cares enough to develop anything.

    Bleh

     

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    Michael Whitetail, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 5:31am

    It wouldnt be difficult to detect a picture being held in front of the sensor as the software is designed to scan a 3 dimensional object, and a 2 dimensional picture wouldn't look like a 'face' to the sensor at all despite being a picture of a face.

    Wearing a mask would be harder to detect, but adding a simple thermo sensor to the system would help identify things holding heat back like clothing, plastics, and other non permeable things on the face. Though movie quality latex prosthetics would be a bitch to catch unless you could somehow detect the latex itself.

     

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    JustMatt, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 6:06am

    DoS

    Someone could scribble over the sensor, essentially a DoS attack, breaking it for everyone. Do this enough times and the vending machine company will either replace with a non-sensor version or spend a lot of money trying to defeat the dreaded Magic Marker (tm) attack.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 6:25am

    Kids smoking is not the real problem here. It is simply a symptom of the real issues at hand. Any doctor will tell you that treating just the symptom, and not the cause, will get you nowhere.

     

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    Overcast, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 6:32am

    Boy, that's Orwellian indeed.

     

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    spaghettihead, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    I guess I'm just relieved that the damn thing doesn't work...yet.

     

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  •  

    Must be a good salesman

    I think if you have a product that is not selling, you find another way to market that product to a different business sector.

    I can only imagine where this is going to show up next.

     

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    YEAH!, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 8:52am

    as soon as i see it ill kick it over.

     

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    Not Important, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 8:56am

    Just a thought

    Maybe it SHOULD be used to detect the ages of people. Made mandatory for pro athletes and rappers.

    "Sorry, R. Kelly can not pee on you, you're not 18 years of age."

     

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    scornythebeaver, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 8:58am

    Go Old Fashoined: Get a fake ID

    If someone is so addicted to smoking to don "movie quality latex" then they deserve to have the smokes no matter what age they are.
    But that being said if they could manage to purchase the high-quality material, there will not be a whole lot of money left over for cigarettes, I'm sure.

    However, if they can't get past the sensor, they will just have to do it the old fashioned way: either get a fake ID or count on a minimum-wage teenager working at a convenience store who probably doesn't give a shit about who they sell cigarettes to.

     

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    4-80-sicks, Nov 6th, 2007 @ 10:33am

    You don't need a mask, all you need is a fake moustache and beard!

    Accept photos are 2-dimensional and faces are 3-dimensional.
    I do accept that, it's a fact. What do I do now?

     

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    technofear (profile), Nov 6th, 2007 @ 10:23pm

    Bad idea...

    If a vending machine decided I could not buy my nicotine fix,

    That would probably be the last thing it decided....

     

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    Melody, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:24pm

    And how many people look years younger than they really are? That would be terribly annoying.

     

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      karry, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 4:13am

      Re: If a vending machine decided I could not buy my nicotine fix,

      However, if they can't get past the sensor, they will just have to do it the old fashioned way: either get a fake ID or count on a minimum-wage teenager working at a convenience store who probably doesn't give a shit laptop battery about who they sell cigarettes to.

       

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