Friday, December 11, 2015

Futuristic Facial-Recognition Software is Coming... Soon

We’ve all seen futuristic movies with hi-tech technology that seems too far-fetched to ever be a reality; but could that very technology be right around the corner? Jason Warnock reports for Marketing Land that facial-recognition technology might be a reality sooner than most people think.

Among many assumed uses for facial-recognition software lies email marketing. Businesses have already started using geofencing software in their email campaigns. This software allows them to send emails to customers as they walk passed their store or walk into the mall. The biggest downfall to this is how easily customers can ignore or not even be notified about new emails. With facial-recognition, there is no hiding.

For this software to work, businesses would need to capture headshots of their customers. From there, they can take action. The first point of action will be working to solve the problem of consumers’ lack of brick-and-mortar shopping. Marketers can send emails to customers offering “deals at the door” that are only accessible when their face is recognized entering the store. This will also allow marketers to avoid the hassle of single-use coupons that are currently offered via email.

Thanks to modern day cameras, marketers will be able to retain information like height, weight, gender, and approximate age. These metrics will allow marketers to create more sophisticated promotions to combine consumers’ digital and physical personas. When these customers do enter the store, cameras will be able to track their purchases; even if these are cash purchases. Currently, purchase behavior can only be tracked through the use of credit cards, however, with facial-recognition that won’t be the case for much longer.

Just like with any new technology, this facial-recognition software may have some hurdles to jump like how to prevent information leaks, guard against hackers, and deal with customers refusing to participate.

With this technology right around the corner, I am interested to see how this “futuristic” software integrates its way into our marketing world. 

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