CaliBurger pilots AI kiosks that recognize the faces of loyalty members
- CaliBurger, a burger chain based in California, is piloting AI-enabled kiosks that use facial recognition technology to identify customers, per The Verge.
- The kiosks leverage NEC Corporation of America’s NeoFace facial recognition technology for customer loyalty program accounts and order history. Existing customers will have the option to access their accounts solely based on the facial ID.
- For now, the AI kiosks are being piloted at a Pasadena location and could be rolled out to more CaliBurger restaurants. The chain’s goal is to replace credit card payments with face-based payments, John Miller, CEO of Cali Group, said in a statement reported by The Verge.
Kiosks have been somewhat of a trend in quick-service restaurants this year and this pilot program suggests how technology breakthroughs like facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence could be applied. It also points to how facial recognition is being embraced across business sectors like QSR and travel where customer loyalty is important. One question might be exactly how comfortable people will be simply walking into a store, being recognized by in-store tech and handling transactions fairly seamlessly. Some are likely to appreciate the convenience while others could see it as an invasion of their privacy.
One concern might be the underlying technology behind these real-world uses. NEC Corporation is a Texas-based communications and IT infrastructure company with an over 100-year history, but its NeoFace tech has also been used for surveillance. There might be privacy concerns about the data being collected by the kiosks. Does the customer information remain with CaliBurger or is NEC Corp. getting access to facial data on people it can apply in other circumstances via its surveillance application?
A number of QSRs are looking at ways to integrated digital technology in their physical locations as a way to streamline operations and provide added value for customers. These efforts have included digital signage, mobile ordering and pay as well as kiosks from chains like McDonald's, KFC, Dunkin' Donuts and Subway.