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Facial Recognition in Retail Marches On, Despite Consumer Concerns

SensibleVision’s new 3DWALLET platform leverages artificial intelligence and facial recognition to facilitate cashless, cardless checkout in retail.

Though facial recognition has been talked about for years, it’s now beginning to making meaningful inroads into consumers’ lives. However, GPShopper’s Q1 2018 Reality of Retail Personalization Report revealed that 49 percent of consumers aren’t yet convinced that of all the technological possibilities out there, facial recognition will meaningfully improve their shopping experiences. On top of that, privacy concerns troubled 45 percent of consumers surveyed. Note, though, that facial recognition has been implemented in Chinese stores and transit systems, even as surveillance fears abound.

Despite these mixed sentiments, tech firms are pushing ahead with biometric authentication solutions like facial recognition, though consumers may be more comfortable with the innovation for limited applications in their lives. By 2020, for example, more than a billion smartphones, led by Apple and Samsung devices, will feature facial recognition technology, according to data from Counterpoint Research.

SensibleVision said its 3-D facial recognition technology recognizes shoppers and automatically charges them for purchases using stored card details, offering a streamlined checkout experience by bypassing the traditional line to pay. George Brostoff, CEO and co-founder of SensibleVision, described the 3DWALLET solution as a 100-percent opt-in ecosystem.

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“The ability to track in-store customer shopping has been around for decades, but the choke point has always been the manual check out process,” Brostoff said.

“Today’s shoppers are used to instant online purchases, and physical retailers should be able to offer exactly the same level of convenience while making the process even more secure than with credit cards. This is an AI power tool to let brick-and-mortar shops, many of which are in trouble, compete with the digital world when it comes to customer experience. We don’t wait in line when we’re shopping on the web—and we shouldn’t have to in stores.”

On the back end, 3DWALLET uses 3-D cameras mounted in store to scan, identify and verify shoppers. SensibleVision said this approach connects customers to their payment methods quickly so the items in the carts can be billed to their preferred card. The company said 3DWALLET improves personal identity security and combats fraudulent transactions.

“This is what facial recognition should be—a way to make life easier for people by eliminating the roadblocks to seamless user experiences,” Brostoff said.