Taiwan develops face-recognising vending machine

January 14, 2011
Tourists purchase water from a vending machine in Washington, DC. A face-recognising vending machine developed in Taiwan is able to offer hair-growing tonic to balding men and razors to people with beards, one of the inventors said Friday.

A face-recognising vending machine developed in Taiwan is able to offer hair-growing tonic to balding men and razors to people with beards, one of the inventors said Friday.

The , from Taipei-based Innovative DigiTech-Enabled Applications and Services Institute, is equipped with a camera that reads the faces of and then suggests products according to their gender and age.

"Our facial-recognition technology is more active than what has been developed in the United States and Japan, because it can actually offer shopping advice," said Tsai Chi-hung, a researcher at the institute.

As well as perceiving male baldness or facial hair, it is also able to suggest beauty products for young women and health drinks for older ones, according to Tsai.

The machine can also record the choices of shoppers who do not follow its tips to learn from its "mistakes" to be able to offer better suggestions in the future, he said.

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