Space & Innovation

Pay For Stuff With Your Face

Uniqul payment system uses facial recognition software to link your mug to your money.

Paying for items in a check out line - even at the automated self-check lanes - can easily create a customer traffic jam. Digging in purses and wallets for cash or a card, punching in your PIN and discount numbers, signing your name - all those actions add up.

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Uniqul, a Finnish company, plans to clear the aisles and speed things up with a payment system that uses facial recognition software to connect customers with their bank accounts. Instead of holding up the line with all the digging, swiping and punching, customers would simply look into the camera of Uniqul tablet, smile, and press "OK."

The company is slated to launch the system soon at Helsinki check out aisles and payment terminals and any major credit/debit card can be used. Uniqul is reportedly able to reduce payment transactions from the average 30 seconds to under five seconds.

For just over $9 a month, users can access the system anywhere in the world, and for just under $4, users can choose what city and surrounding suburbs they'd like to access Uniqul. For just over $1, the system can be used within a mile and a half radius of home and work. Obviously, these figures are contingent on stores being equipped with the payment software and system, so accessing Uniqul "anywhere in the world" seems a little far-fetched.

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But anything that quells waiting-in-line rage is all right by me. Things can get downright feudal at a supermarket on a Sunday afternoon, especially during prime grilling season. However, I actually refuse to use the self-check out lanes. I like bantering with the cashiers and, ya know, supporting non-automated jobs filled by actual humans. Just remember, though: if overcome by waiting-in-line frustration, perhaps David Foster Wallace's "This Is Water" commencement speech can set you at ease, especially this condensed video.

via Pop Sci

Credit: Jetta Productions/Blend Images/Corbis