From Sci-Fi to Retail: Face-Scanning Technology
At the NRF convention, Kraft Foods Inc. and Intel Corp. unveiled
a new kiosk that uses facial recognition to suggest food choices for shoppers.
Called the Kraft Next Generation Meal Planning Solution, the digital signage
is equipped with Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) technology that tracks how
many people interacted with the display/vending machine, for how long, and
even a person’s age and gender. Also tying in the time of day, the machine
then recommends standard recipes and food for a person, obviously within Kraft’s
family of brands.
Other features on the kiosk include:
- Loyalty card knowledge: If shoppers swipe their loyalty card, the
kiosk can make recommendations based on past purchasing history.
- Kraft iFood Assistant application: Synching the kiosk with Kraft’s
iFood Assistant allows shoppers to add recipes, shopping lists, etc. to their
smartphones via a barcode scanner.
- Promotional opt-in: For a sample promotion (i.e., Super Bowl or
holiday), a consumer can choose from a series of recipe options, download
the recipe and get a shopping list of ingredients sent to her smart phone.
- Recipe suggestions: The display will suggest recipes based on the
shopper’s meal-time intentions.
- Sampling: As part of other interactions, the shopper can obtain
actual product samples such as Oreos or Cadbury Chocolate.
Speaking to Fast Company, Don King, Kraft’s VP of retail experience, said
the average shopper only has 10 recipes in her or his average meal-time rotation
and part of Kraft’s goal was to expand meal options. At the same time, Mr. King
said 70 percent of shoppers enter the store without any idea as to what to serve
that night for dinner.
But the most controversial feature is the face-recognition
“It can sense the demographics, so you can change your marketing or
content based on who’s standing there,” Shailesh Chaudhry, strategic
marketing manager for retail at Intel, told Northwestern University’s Medill
can make it more relevant and personalized for the shopper.”
that the Intel remains sensitive to privacy issues and said the Meal Planning
Solution promises anonymity.
But Medill Reports found some consumers
near downtown Chicago who had some qualms.
“I don’t like it,” said Fred Wilson, 50. “I don’t
like them trying to guess my age and market to me.”
“I think it’s a very positive device, and very useful,” Ron
Paul, president of Technomic Inc., a Chicago food industry consulting firm,
Reports. “They may be a little ahead of their time in terms of
to use a kiosk, but we’ll get more used to them. We learned how to use
Correction: According to a source at Intel, “The
term ‘face-recognition technology’ is not entirely accurate as Intel’s demo
does not recognize faces, but rather detects if a face is in front of
the demo, and then determines gender and other demographics based on key
points within the face.”
- Meal Planning Solution from Intel and Kraft – Intel
- Kraft Store Kiosk Scans Your Face Then Knows What to Feed It – Fast
- Kraft and Intel to use face scanning to market products – Medill Reports
Discussion Question: How receptive will consumers be to facial-recognition technologies in kiosks, even if they help with mealtime solutions? What do you think of the other features of the Kraft Next Generation Meal Planning Solution?