South Korea is paving the way for retail use of facial-recognition technology, according to an article on The International Finance Center Mall in Seoul has transformed its 26 information kiosks into LCD touchscreens with cameras and motion detectors. 

When a shopper approaches the kiosk, a camera tracks their movement while the system compares their face against a database of 5,000 people with their sex and age identified — along with about 1,000 pieces of information such as facial shape, wrinkles and distance between eyes. The software can then estimate the person's age and gender and targets them with personalized, interactive advertisements for restaurants and stores, the article reported.

The system is in data-collection phase now and will begin full operation early next year, according to the article. Since the mall opened early last month, it has recorded 1.8 million faces at or near the kiosks, with most shoppers being recorded several times as they visited the kiosks around the mall.

Executives from South Korea's SK Holdings Co., the system's makers, said they won't record interactions at a kiosk, or store any of the images. South Korean privacy laws prevent the companies from collecting personal information from customers without permission, the article reported. 

Read more about kiosks in retail

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