Japan's ciggie machines to sniff out buyer's age
All smoke and mirrors?
Most people wouldn’t welcome the onset of wrinkles and crow’s feet, but Japanese smokers could soon need some if they’re to buy smokes from the country’s cigarette machines.
Japan’s legal smoking age is 20, but the country already has around 570,000 vending machines that dispense packs at whim. However, new regulations come into force in July that could mean prosecutions for any vending-machine company whose dispenser sells tobacco to someone under the legal age.
According to a report by Reuters, Japanese firm Fujitaka has developed a software and digital camera combo that prevents cigarette supply confusions. The camera snaps a picture of the buyer then the software analyses the person’s face for wrinkles around the eyes, bone structure and sagging skin - all signs that the punter is old enough to partake of the wicked weed.
The software compares the buyer's wrinkle round-up with the facial data of over 100,000 existing snaps and decides if the buyer is old enough to be legally sold cigarettes.
A spokesman for the company said the system is about 90 per cent accurate, with the remaining ten per cent of buyers sitting in a “grey-zone” of baby-faced adults. Rather than wrinkly-faced juveniles, we assume.
If the system can’t verify a person’s age with a single snap, it asks the buyer to insert their driving licence in order to confirm their age.
Hardened smokers should be able to get their fix quite easily though, because puffing cigs is known to cause aging of the skin.
Coming to a country near you?
A similar technology is apparently being trialed in a store in London.
Budgens are doing something similar
"Hi-tech tool spots child drinkers"
Paris because she's not an under-age drinker.
How is taspo going to know whether you used your own card, or borrowed your father's when he put it down for a few minutes? The machine needs to check the individual, not something they're carrying.
This checking thing is all nonsense. I despair at the lack of intelligence shown by those who get to positions of authority. Either ban the weed, or leave it up to the parents to whup the arse of their kids if and when they indulge; or put up with the consequences.
The photos on JP driver licenses are tiny
I seriously doubt you can use the tiny photos on Japanese driver licenses for any software based processing and pattern matching, I reckon they are just too small and they are of horrible quality, too.
Ain't gonna happen
Japan just started using a new system called taspo for age identification at vending machines this month, so I find it hard to believe they're going to start using another one any time soon.
Also, due to the fact it costs 300,000 yen ($2900 U.S.) to get a license, and the public transportation system being so convenient, there are a lot of people without a drivers license over here.
If anyone feels like reading about Taspo,