Feeds

Supermarket goes hi-tech to stop kids buying booze and cigs

How old are you?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Supermarket chain Budgens has begun trialling facial-recognition technology in one of its London stores in a bid to thwart attempts by the city’s teenagers to buy alcopops and smokes illegally.

The trial uses a face-recognition system developed by firms OmniPerception and Charton. The unnamed Budgens store now has a camera installed in each of its three checkout lanes. As shoppers approach the tills, their faces are snapped and beamed back to a control centre in Worcester.

The software then plots points on the customer’s face and compares the read-out against a database of customers already identified as being too young to buy certain products. If the software finds a match, the store’s cashier is alerted and told to refuse sales of booze and fags.

Conversely, the software also highlights anyone who’s already been verified as old enough for a puff and a swig.

Anyone who hasn’t visited the store before and could be under age will be asked for ID by checkout staff. The cashier can then permit or deny the sale. Either way, the buyer's picture is retained for future use.

Charlie Willetts, managing director of Charton, told the BBC that only 1500 images are stored on the system currently. But he said that other supermarkets and convenience stores are interested in the system, which could result in a giant database of customer pictures snapped at stores.

Earlier this week, Register Hardware reported how cigarette machines in Japan could soon be fitted with cameras and facial recognition software to help verify the smoker’s age before a pack is dispensed.

Six Budgens stores have also opted for fingerprint recognition – but to stop staff claiming false working hours. The fingerprint scanners mean staff can’t dishonestly clock-in other members of staff who aren’t at work. Well, not without resorting to really desperate measures.

'Day off, Ted? Sure - now pass us that hacksaw will yer...'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights
Airlines given green light to allow gate-to-gate jibber-jabber
Be your own Big Brother: Keeping an eye on Mum and Dad
All watched over by machines of loving grace
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.