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Taiwan Develops Face-Recognition Vending Machine 86

Posted by timothy
from the you-want-food-drink-and-merriment dept.
angry tapir writes "Government-funded researchers in Taiwan have developed a vending machine that recommends purchases based on people's faces. We've previously discussed a Japanese vending machine that recommended drinks based using facial recognition. The Taiwanese machine can look for clues like whether a person has glasses, a beard or a mustache and based on that it guesses their use of make-up or frequency of shaving. It then might recommend a facial mask, razor, or health products that people in a certain category are statistically likely to buy."
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Taiwan Develops Face-Recognition Vending Machine

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, that's a great marketing strategy.
    "Hey you! You're face looks like it could use a mask!"

    • Yeah, that's a great marketing strategy.
      "Hey you! You're face looks like it could use a mask!"

      You laugh because you have evidently never read a women's magazine.

      • Yeah, that's a great marketing strategy.
        "Hey you! You're face looks like it could use a mask!"

        You laugh because you have evidently never read a women's magazine.

        Are you implying that women have beards and mustaches?

    • Your pupils are dilated, no more coffee for you.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.techeye.net/hardware/smart-vending-machines-triple-sales [techeye.net]

    Japanese always invent first. The Chinese just steal the IP and clone it. :)

    • by jandersen (462034) on Monday January 17, 2011 @07:24AM (#34903198)

      Japanese always invent first. The Chinese just steal the IP and clone it. :)

      30 years ago: Americans always invent first. The Japanese just steal the IP and clone it. :)
      60 years ago: The English always invent first. The Americans just steal the IP and clone it. :) ...

      Perhaps this comment was a two-edged sword?

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        So your argument is that America has taken over technical development and therefore we should be ashamed? Because there's no signs that China will do the same, they were expert copiers and mediocre engineers before I was born, and now over 30 years later they're the same.

        • by jandersen (462034)

          So your argument is that America has taken over technical development and therefore we should be ashamed?

          No need to be ashamed - just pointing out that this has gone on all through history. The Romans took over from the Greeks, for example; each new generation learns from its predecessors and progresses from there. Now it is China's turn, as well as India and others. They have been there before, too - once China and India were on the top while Europe were in the dark ages.

          But you are simply being both unfair and out of touch with reality when you imply that the Chinese are chronically incapable of doing anythi

      • by Genda (560240)

        Greeks invented two edge sword, Romans just steal the IP and clone it. :-)

  • by Tomahawk (1343) on Monday January 17, 2011 @06:18AM (#34902988) Homepage

    While I can appreciate this sort of thing from an academic perspective (it's quite impressive, actually), I find the idea of this in the real world quite sickening. Not sure I like the idea of a vending machine putting me into a category based on how I look. Or based on anything, for that matter.

    Why can't a vending machine just be a vending machine?

    Me: "Hmmm - I think I'll have a mars bar"
    Vending Machine: "Are you sure? You look like you need a razor, a box of tampons, and a coke"
    Me: Fist-of-death

    • Sounds like clippy to me. 'Yes, we have all this stuff on display here, but I will only sell coke if you wear a tie.'

      • by Tomahawk (1343)

        You mean like clippy from MS Office

        "I see you are trying to buy a Mars bar? Would you like me to help?"

        Press no!

        "Really? Because I think you look a little dehydrated and could do with a coke too."

        Press go away!

        "Aww, come on, it's only a coke with that Mars bar. And it's a big coke, so maybe you'll want a Snickers too..."

        *fist of death*

    • by guyminuslife (1349809) on Monday January 17, 2011 @06:39AM (#34903070)

      Maybe it's a Japanese thing. Wii Fit does something like that. I used it at a friend's place a couple of times; ever since then whenever he or his girlfriend uses it, it asks, "Have you seen recently? He hasn't been exercising. Has he gotten fatter?"

      I have, but that's none of Nintendo's fucking business.

      • Oops, my mistake, I meant "maybe it's an Asian thing."

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I have, but that's none of Nintendo's fucking business.

        You chose to make it Nintendo's business by permitting them to gauge your fatness. Until you delete your profile from the system, you continue to give them permission to make it their business.

        Japan is teensy tiny and privacy is illusory. Getting into people's business is the status quo. So I suspect it really is an Asian thing.

        • by jack2000 (1178961)
          I thought getting into people's business was a big no in Japan, and only people that get a perverse kick out of sticking their noses in other people's business do it all the time. Sort of like public trolls, because they know people are inherently more private.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I've heard that it's a major faux pas (or however you say it in Japanese) to appear to be nosing into others' business, but the reality is that you can't help but know what your neighbor is doing. But this is just what I'm told, so it's all secondhand. At least it's from people who have lived there.

    • Not sure I like the idea of a vending machine putting me into a category based on how I look. Or based on anything, for that matter.

      It's part of the progress in AI. By judging people on how they look, the machine is acting more human-like.

    • by Gubbe (705219)

      Meh, it's more like this:
      There's a big bright LCD showing mindless ads about tampons, coke and whatnot, that you're already used to seeing and ignoring.

      You: "Hmmmm - I think I'll have a mars bar"
      Vending Machine (notices your stubble): "Quality razors 10% off today."
      You: "Mmmm, mars bar..." (ignore the ad as usual)
        OR
      You: "Fuck, shaving the other day with the dull blade was annoying as hell. Might as well grab one of these while I'm out of my mom's basement."

      • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday January 17, 2011 @08:15AM (#34903306)

        Meh, it's more like this: There's a big bright LCD showing mindless ads about tampons, coke and whatnot, that you're already used to seeing and ignoring.

        You: "Hmmmm - I think I'll have a mars bar" Vending Machine (notices your stubble): "Quality razors 10% off today." You: "Mmmm, mars bar..." (ignore the ad as usual) OR You: "Fuck, shaving the other day with the dull blade was annoying as hell. Might as well grab one of these while I'm out of my mom's basement."

        Or "You look like the guy who vandalised this machine last week. Sledge Hammers 10% off"

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday January 17, 2011 @06:51AM (#34903112)

      Vending Machine: "Are you sure? You look like you need a razor, a box of tampons, and a coke"

      I am not familiar with this kink, but it sounds like it might have potential.

      Remember folks, as long as no one gets hurt, kinky sex is good, clean, wholesome Christian fun.

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        Vending Machine: "Are you sure? You look like you need a razor, a box of tampons, and a coke"

        I am not familiar with this kink, but it sounds like it might have potential.

        Remember folks, as long as no one gets hurt, kinky sex is good, clean, wholesome Christian fun.

        I think we need to correct GP:

        "Are you sure? You look like you need a razor, a box of tampons, and a line of coke"

    • Come on, any good salesperson in a shop, booth, kiosk would to the same:
      "One mars bar please"
      "There you go. By the way we've got a good offer on razors this week. Playboy mag here says the ladies like it clean nowadays. Although that coke ad says the opposite, that them girls like it ruffian style, it's refreshing."

    • by ccguy (1116865)

      Me: "Hmmm - I think I'll have a mars bar" Vending Machine: "Are you sure? You look like you need a razor, a box of tampons, and a coke"

      That would be annoying but at least in your example it's not insulting you. However if I go to the vending machine and based on my face it

      - Suggests a Mars => I'm gonna think the algorithm was something along the lines "Costco was closed and you will settle with just one, you fatso? Here, have a Mars".
      - Does NOT suggest a Mars => I'm gonna think the play here is "What about a change? This diet bar is what you need. Plus some water from E4"

      Honestly, if these vending machines ever come here I'll ma

    • Why can't a vending machine just be a vending machine?

      Now you're being ridiculous. I suppose that you also want your smart phone to... I dunno... make and recieve phone calls? Ludicrous!!!

    • by darknb (1193867)
      <quote><p>While I can appreciate this sort of thing from an academic perspective (it's quite impressive, actually), I find the idea of this in the real world quite sickening. Not sure I like the idea of a vending machine putting me into a category based on how I look. Or based on anything, for that matter.</p><p>Why can't a vending machine just be a vending machine?</p></quote>

      Its sickening to people when advertising uses efficiency like this to lump them into groups. A
  • philosophical issue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chichilalescu (1647065) on Monday January 17, 2011 @06:26AM (#34903016) Homepage Journal

    maybe I'm weird, but at some point I talked to my friends about rashes from shaving, and how to avoid them, and it seemed like an intimate discussion. What would happen to humans as social animals, if a lot of these physiological issues would be "discussed" only with automated systems?
    I mean... our minds are housed in these machines. Taking care of these machines is a big part of our time, and yet we have moments when we consider all this to be nonessential ("I am a thinking mind, concerned with math and science, not a body"). However, what would it really mean to remove all of the conversations about taking care of the machines from our social interactions?
    Maybe I'm just in a "back to the trees" phase today, sorry if this is seems like a nonissue.

    • No, I agree. I also think that we try too hard to push out all the natural parts of taking care of our body, and this affects the rest of our life negatively. I feel much better when I'm keeping active for example.

      I read this article [menshealth.com] recently and it makes a couple of really good points about many guys thinking that being fit means having big muscles, or people thinking of exercise as a mind numbing and agonising punishment for overeating rather than something to enjoy.

      I do Parkour, which is very similar to

  • ...enforcing social norms! You have stubble, therefore you must shave. Your hair is messy, here's a comb. Everyone will start to look the same!
  • by anti-pop-frustration (814358) on Monday January 17, 2011 @06:30AM (#34903032) Journal
    Scanning...

    You've been identified as:
    - Elton John
    - Chewbacca
    - Hitler
    - Morbidly obese middle-aged guy
    - 15 years old Taiwanese schoolgirl

    Computing recommendation...

    Here, why don't you try $MOST_EXPENSIVE_PRODUCT ?

    Our super-advanced recommendation technology has determined it's just what you need!
  • I'm not sure that a vending machine that is essentially playing Guess Who can be classified as having "Facial Recognition Technology".

  • This is big news, the offspring of the big Red are seeking to a market to guys with beards... no muslim with a prophecy beard could refuse to purchase in the right location..
  • Stallman: Give me some coffee
    Machine: Its best if I will give you some razor
    Stallman: sudo Give me some coffee
    Machine: Coming right up!

  • It recommended a brain transplant.

  • In Japan, there are vending machines that scans facial bone structure to verify if you're of age or not to buy beer and such. I just hope that they don't implement these new suggestive vending machines for used panties. "YOU SIR, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU MIGHT WANT A GOOD PAIR OF USED PANTIES... *scanning* LOLICON 3,000Yen plz
  • So basically vending machines will prey on people by upselling with no associated staffing costs. Minimum wage workers have been proven effective shame 'sheeple' into buying extra crap by merely begging at them. Now they can make extra sales to the even lower estemed and dumb people with no cost except the frustration and temple pressure caused to the non-stupid, who will probably deal with it to get the product they are after. "buy a razor today [scumbag] ?" wife beside him gets something to nag abou
  • by mevets (322601) on Monday January 17, 2011 @07:25AM (#34903204)

    the person that wants to spend money, but just can't quite imagine what he needs? That is a pretty cynical, but could be amusing after a couple of drinks.

    It would be more interesting as a profile generator - put a dollar in and it tells you what it knows thinks of you. "You are overweight, have poor muscle tone, droopy eyes and carry overpriced gadgets" -> are you a programmer?

    It could be a feature of singles night - to suggest who you should hit on, or advise you to just go home...

  • Damn thing kept offering me only Lil' Debbie snacks.

  • NUTRI-MATIC MACHINE
    This machine provides the user with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

    The way it functions is very interesting. When the Drink button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centers of the subject's brain to see what is likely to be well received.

    However,

  • I suppose that whatever you attempt to order from the Drinks O'Matic dispenser will be carefully tuned to provide the exact required nutrients based on your species, genetic makeup and whether you still have a hangover from the previous night's party, judging by the prominence of the bags under your eyes and the resulting elixir will taste almost exactly, but not quite unlike tea...
    • by psylentz (1959668)
      Apparently I wasn't the only person who immediately thought "share and enjoy" when I read TFA.
  • by vlm (69642)

    that people in a certain category are statistically likely to buy.

    It sees two girls, they get one cup.

  • Toaster: Howdy doodly do. How's it going? I'm Talkie, Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?

    Lister: Look, I don't want any toast, and he doesn't want any toast. In fact, no one around here wants any toast. Not now, not ever. No toast.

    Toaster: How 'bout a muffin?

    Lister: Or muffins. We don't like muffins around here. We want no muffins, no toast, no teacakes, no buns, baps, baguettes or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no pancakes, no

  • Vending Machine: "Oh, it's you."
    Self: "Shut up and gimme the usual."

  • When used in US airports, the machines will profile its customers and the TSA will just search anyone drinking Mr. Pibb.
  • They just need to add a mass spectrometer and air intake. Then it could recommend deodorant as well.

  • This feat is even more amazing than we first thought considering
    all [yahoo.com]
    Chinese [facebook.com]
    people [blogspot.com]
    look [poplicks.com]
    alike [timesonline.co.uk].
  • I glanced at that and thought it said "Face-Recognition Voting-Machine".
  • Me:"Yes, I'd like a mars bar
    Vendy:"Perhaps you should have a facial mask".
    Me:"Why should I? My Mum says I'm a as handsome as a prince!"
    Vendy:"All mothers say that, to avoid hurting your feelings ugly".
    Me:*Bursts into tears*
    Me:"Allright I'll take a facial mask, a razor, a box of tampons, and a coke"

  • Oh great! Aside from already being nagged into buying extra things we don't want in shops, we're going to have to deal with smartarse machines telling us to buy things we don't want whilst making personal comments to coerce us into a purchase.

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