At a KFC restaurant in Hangzhou, China, a new facial recognition payment system called "Smile To Pay," allows you to pay for your meal by simply smiling at a camera, Mashable reports.
The new payment method, which was launched by Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform created by Alibaba, uses facial recognition technology to scan an excited customer's face using a 3D camera in two seconds. The customer also has to enter their phone number to prevent fraud.
The camera technology used at the KFC was developed by Ant Technology. According to company spokesperson Jidong Chen, "combined with a 3D camera and liveness detection algorithm, Smile to Pay can effectively block spoofing attempts using other people's photos or video recordings and ensure account safety," Reuters reports.
Alibaba has actually been working on a new payment method like this for several years. Alibaba's president, Jack Ma, demonstrated the technology two years ago at an IFA conference in Germany, a tech fair where companies can showcase their innovative technologies. In addition, the company that actually coded and built the facial recognition technology, Megvii, raised $100 million from investors in December.
KFC seems to have an affinity for facial-recognition technology: last year, China's KFC, in collaboration with the Chinese web services company Baidu, created the "smart restaurant" concept. The technology scans a person's face and makes food suggestions based on the customer's sex, age and mood.
KFC also took dining with them to another level in 2016 with the "KFC Tray Typer," a durable paper tray that turns into an ultra-thin, rechargeable wireless keyboard when you connect it to your phone via Bluetooth. The best part? The tray lets you text with greasy fingers without messing up your smartphone screen. Now there's some truly valuable tech!