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Retail automation company launches 3D facial biometric age verification device


Innovative Technology (ITL) has introduced a new product which it says uses intelligent biometric algorithms to verify the age of customers. The ICU device is designed to automate policy for controlling access to restricted purchases such as alcohol and premises such as casinos, according to the announcement.

The ICU’s camera captures an image of the customer and then recognizes and verifies the customer’s age with biometric identification, but does not store the customer’s image or personal data, and therefore has no GDPR or privacy implications for the operator, the company says. The device can be tailored to the age restrictions and regulations of any country.

“We are delighted to bring this exciting new product to both the retail and gaming markets where we are already well-known and trusted,” says Innovative Technology Sales Director for Retail & Kiosk Tony Morrison. “We have used our expertise and some of the technology from our well-established cash handling products and applied this to create an automated age recognition device which uses intelligent biometrics. Automation is key; with retail self-service check-outs a key application where both customers and retailers can benefit from automating the age verification process for restricted purchases, speeding up purchases for customers rather than having to wait for an assistant to approve. ICU is a standalone unit, there is no need for customers to pre-register, providing a seamless service for the end user.”

ICU captures a 3D image to prevent spoof attacks, and Morrison says it has shown excellent results in various trials already. It requires no other expensive hardware, and is mounted horizontally or vertically with easy integration.

“The data science behind reading and verifying banknotes is highly applicable to automating the age verification process, so we’ve got our 26-year history behind us,” explains ICU Product Manager Dr. Daniel Lonsdale in the company statement. “There are many benefits to the operator, but the main aim is to improve the customer experience by speeding up the age verification approval process. This in turn will result in increased throughput and revenue as customers move through the purchase process at a faster rate. Implementing ICU frees up staff time, reducing the staff levels required for either age-restricted purchase approvals or stopping entry to age-restricted premises.”

ITL will showcase ICU at upcoming tradeshows NRF in New York and EAG in London.

Age verification was noted among likely near-term applications of biometrics in retail settings by industry experts in conversation with Biometric Update late last year, and Yoti reports it will soon be providing automated age estimation at self-checkouts for a major retailer.

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