Wirecard launches retail IoT shelf with facial recognition

Payment firm Wirecard has launched an IoT retail shelf which automates the purchase process with facial recognition to create a seamless purchase and payment experience.

Customers are identified on positioning themselves in front of the shelf, and the shelf automatically detects the products selected. A virtual shopping bag and payment information are displayed on a screen above the shelf in real-time, according to the announcement.

“The rapid pace of technological progress in the field of IoT reveals that the coming years will bring huge digital transformation to the retail world,” says Jörn Leogrande, Executive Vice President Wirecard Labs. “At Wirecard, our intention is to actively shape the future of retail by constantly developing innovative financial technologies. In our vision, biometric payment concepts will play a central role in the retail of tomorrow.”

The shelf unit is self-contained, working without a mobile app or cloud back-end, and it does not store customer images, according to a YouTube video demonstration of the IoT shelf. The company hopes to bring the product to market in the near future.

Startup RetailDeep is currently running multiple trials of its automated shop technology, which also identifies customers with facial recognition.

While Wirecard is launching its IoT retail shelf just as Europe’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) comes into effect, the National Law Review warned U.S. retailers to be prepared for changes to consumer privacy laws when considering implementing facial recognition in stores.

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