Futuristic Technology Allows You To Pay For Items... With Your Face
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Technology can be both incredible and terrifying - often at the same time. That's certainly the case with this new futuristic Facial Recognition Technology that's popping up in China, which lets you purchase things by taking a selfie with your thumb up.
See? We weren't joking. In the video, British photographer Dan Wolfe is seen using the cutting edge, sci-fi-tastic technology to buy drinks and a snack while on holiday in China.
Shot on 2 April in the northwest city of Guangzhou, the video demonstrates that how the technology is already in place and working towards making stores fully automated in the future.
Users have to sign up to the cashless payment app WeChat - which is basically like WhatsApp but a million times more sophisticated - in order to access the items. And if that doesn't sound crazy enough, it's also used to distribute toilet roll in public bathrooms, the idea being to minimise excessive paper usage.
Whether for snacks or toilet paper, transactions take only 0.3 seconds to be processed and have an accuracy of 95 percent.
What that means is that stores can now be run completely staff-free and stay open 24 hours a day.
That might sound like the start of a dystopian film in which everything starts going very wrong very quickly, but Dan, a Brit who lived in China for three years, didn't seem to mind it.
"I personally found the experience to be fairly smooth," he said.
"The store I visited had two workers there to assist, although some other stores have no workers at all. In those stores you scan your face to unlock the door to both go in and out."
He explained that to process a transaction, you place items on a self-scanning mat before smiling into a camera while sticking your thumb up. This indicates to the computer that you're happy for the transaction to be processed.
"It was an interesting experience," Dan said.
"As far as I know this is the first company in China to use Facial Recognition Technology in this way.
"There has been recent news of government wanting to make WeChat act as another form of ID. I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of this sort tech popping up in the near future."
Still, despite the fact that whole thing sounds somewhat like a Big Brother-esque nightmare, it'd definitely come in handy those days when you leave your wallet at home by accident.