Restaurant technology trends come and go, but here’s a trend that uses something you’ll always have – your face. Imagine a world where the only form of payment you need on entering a business is yourself, and you’ve imagined what Finnish company Uniqul launched in July 2013.
Restaurant Technology Trend from Finland
Uniqul has developed a facial recognition payment system that scans a person’s face, looks him or her up in a system that is tied to a payment account, and allows the person to pay with a confirming click on a check-out stand’s “Ok” button.
Uniqul merchant platforms should begin showing up in Helsinki in the fall of 2013 with planned expansion from there. The technology is free to businesses. Customers who use it will pay a graduated monthly fee based on how wide of a usage range they want, from just over a $1 a month within a mile of one’s home or work to about $9 a month for “worldwide” coverage.
The company says it is targeting the technology at small- to medium-sized restaurants, stores and hotels and is “using military grade algorithms to make sure that the security of our system is impeccable.” And yes, the facial recognition software can distinguish between identical twins.
What This New Technology Means for Restaurants
For small, self-serve or counter restaurants and cafes, the technology could cut down on staff members and lines, since Uniqul says the system will cut payment time down from 30 to 5 seconds and requires no operator behind the customer.
In addition, Uniqul says it will give merchants demographic information on its users, helping restaurateurs tailor their businesses. And that whole dine and dash trend would be a thing of the past if customers’ faces and connected ID accounts were logged as soon as they entered a restaurant.
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