Fa­cial recog­ni­tion to re­place age checks at tills

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By James Tit­comb

SU­PER­MAR­KETS are to trial fa­cial recog­ni­tion soft­ware to re­place age checks un­der a pi­lot run by a Bri­tish iden­tity app.

The tech­nol­ogy will be used when cus­tomers are buy­ing al­co­hol and other age-re­stricted items at self-ser­vice tills. The check­outs will con­firm the user’s age by us­ing a smart­phone app called Yoti, which scans the shop­per’s face to con­firm their iden­tity. It is hoped the tech­nol­ogy can re­move a key bot­tle­neck at self-ser­vice tills – the re­quire­ment that as­sis­tants must still check iden­ti­fi­ca­tion when buy­ing ager­e­stricted goods.

Yoti was founded by Robin Tombs and Noel Hay­den, who also started on­line gam­bling com­pany Gamesys be­fore sell­ing it to In­ter­tain for £426m. They have put £23m of their money into Yoti, which has about 180 staff. The app is set up by tak­ing a photo and scan­ning a per­son’s driv­ing li­cence or pass­port, at which point the two are tied to­gether. The app is then able to con­firm its owner’s iden­tity at any time by them tak­ing a selfie.

Mr Tombs said he was work­ing with NCR, which makes self-ser­vice su­per­mar­ket tills. He said two of the big four su­per­mar­kets have re­ceived ap­proval to pi­lot the tech­nol­ogy next year, but he could not dis­close which ones.

‘Two of the big four su­per­mar­kets have re­ceived ap­proval to pi­lot the tech­nol­ogy next year’

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