It’s 4 pm. You’re craving a candy bar, but you don’t really want anyone to know that you have an addiction to Snickers. So, you visit the vending machine on the 3rd floor of your office building.
You work on the 15th.
Scarfing your candy bar in seclusion, you hide your horrid eating habits from friends and family.
That is, at least until the vending machine starts to recognize you.
And in Taiwan, such a scenairo may well be close to reality.
The machine, created by Taipei-based Innovative DigiTech-Enabed Applications and Service Institute, was created to read the faces of shoppers and suggest a product based on their age and physical appearance.
For example, if the buyer has a beard, the machine may offer him a razor. If the buyer is bald, the machine may offer him some Rogaine.
“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.
But what about us closet candy bar lovers!?
What if we approach the vending machine with a colleague hoping to buy a Diet Coke and the vending machine greets us by name and asks if we want the usual Cheetoh’s, Snickers, and Ding Dong combination?
Whether we blame it on a technical glitch or are forced to announce our closet eating habits, our healthy reputations will be ruined forever.
The idea is to replace salespeople by creating a machine with the ability to give shopping suggestions.
The machine will diagnose your problem based on your physical appearance and give you a suggestion accordingly. If the suggestion isn’t up to par, users can give the machine tips and hope for a better result next time.
What’s next? A machine that suggests carrot sticks for fat people and candy bars for those who are too skinny? No wonder some people are scared of future technology!