Forward-looking: A data science company in the UK has come up with what could be one of the best and most practical uses of facial recognition tech: making sure people queuing for drinks at a bar get served in the correct order.
Anyone who's ever been waiting fifteen minutes to get served at a crowded bar knows how frustrating it can be when staff keeps ignoring you in favor of those who’ve just sauntered over. But thanks to DataSparQ's kit, ordering a drink won’t be dependent on catching a server’s eye, elbowing queue jumpers out of the way, or waving frantically in an act of sheer desperation.
The A.I. Bar uses facial recognition to place drinkers in a “dynamically intelligent queue.” It works by displaying a live video of everyone waiting to be served on a screen above the bar. This shows a number above each person’s head, representing their place in the queue, and it even displays an estimated time until they’ll be able to order their drinks.
In addition to checking the screen to see who’s next in line, bar staff will have an iPad that tells them who to serve. The AI can also identify customers who look under-age, informing the staff if they need to ask for ID or if they’ve already been checked. Patrons will also see if they’re going to be age-checked, allowing them to have some identification ready for when it’s their turn. User data is deleted locally and from the cloud at the end of every night.
The technology has been on trial at the 5cc Harrild & Sons bar in London, “where locals have benefited from speedier serving times and no confusion over who’s next during peak periods.”
Other in-development functions include the ability for customers to reorder drinks while still in the queue, and a “FaceTab” feature that only allows certain faces to order drinks on a particular tab.
With Brits estimated to spend more than two months queuing for drinks over the course of their lifetimes, this has the potential to become a popular part of many bars. It requires a standard webcam, display screen, and internet connection, and will cost landlords £199 ($240) per month.