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Helsinki cafes test facial recognition payment system by Uniqul


A payment system developed by Finnish tech firm Uniqul that uses facial recognition will be tested in a handful of Helsinki cafes beginning in early 2015 according to a local news report.

According to a report from Finland’s Yle News, Uniqul said the application recognizes a customer based on their unique facial geometry, and will make point-of-sale transactions much quicker than traditional methods involving payment cards and cash.

Uniqul says it’s the world’s first facial recognition payment system.

Uniqul CEO Oscar Tuutti told Yle News that preliminary testing of the system is nearly done, and will be ready for real-world implementation early next year.

With the facial recognition integrated into existing cash register systems, customers will be able to complete purchases by pressing an “OK-button,” and a camera verifies the buyer’s identify, taking a total of 5 seconds. Tuutti said the technology can “distinguish between identical twins.”

As Biometric Update reported last year, users pay a monthly subscription fee to Uniqul based on geography and proximity to Uniqul terminals. Essentially encouraging participation in local economies, users pay around $1.30 within a mile radius of a user-designated point, with larger costs as one moves further outward. Worldwide coverage costs roughly $9 per month to users.

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