Face Recognition Technology for Digital Signage Systems

Retail environments thrive off of positive customer interactions, satisfaction, and loyalty. However, determining the type of experience a customer walks away with isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem. That’s where face detection technology, particularly face recognition, comes into play. Face detection technology is usually installed in commercial LED displays or cameras, usually at self-checkout kiosks. It’s able to identify when a human face is present. Face recognition is a subset of face detection and takes the concept a bit further by recognizing the individual person’s face and reading their facial expression while they shop.

How Does Face Recognition Technology Work?

Face recognition technology is still in its infancy and many retailers have been hesitant to implement it as part of their marketing and customer interaction methodology citing potential privacy concerns.

While these concerns are certainly valid to a degree, they’re also vastly misinformed and misplaced. It’s true that the idea behind face recognition technology is to collect pertinent data about customers based on their shopping experience in a retail environment, but that doesn’t include personal data.

Face recognition is meant to give retailers a vital insight into how their customers feel while shopping in their store, whether they had a positive experience and are likely to return. The way it works is that when images are taken through industrial LCD displays located throughout a store, these images are stored within a central database. Every time a customer approaches one of these devices, their image is then compared to existing images in the database. The idea is to determine whether that customer has visited your store in the past, how many times they’ve come back, and whether they’re likely to keep coming back.

Currently, one of the drawbacks of this technology is that it’s not always 100% accurate. Since it’s still in the development and testing stage for the most part, there are a lot of improvements to be made. For instance, some people who may have extremely similar facial features and this could make it difficult for the system to identify the correct person, which in turn could lead to inaccuracies.

Face Recognition Signage in the Retail Industry

Despite the abovementioned privacy concerns and the potential for collecting inaccurate data, face recognition technology shows a lot of promise for the future of retail marketing. By recognizing customers who frequent your store and are more likely to return in the future, you can predict the types of products they typically purchase and create a more personalized shopping experience. For instance, if you have a certain brand in your store that’s currently targeting a specific demographic, you can advertise directly to those specific customers using face recognition technology.

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