Facebook's not-at-all-dystopian facial recognition patent application for brick-and-mortar surveillance:

A customer recognition system intelligently detects and notifies a merchant when a customer is in need of assistance based on the customer's facial expression.

The customer recognition system can also identify a product associated with the customer need.

The customer recognition system identifies a user profile associated with a customer shopping at a merchant location, determines a trust level for the customer based on user profile information, and based on the trust level, causes a secured product display to provide a customer access to a secured product. [...]

I think this part says, "our cameras can automate Shopping While Black":

In some embodiments, the customer recognition system 101 determines a trust level based on social networking activity data. For example, the customer recognition system 101 can analyze a customer's social networking activity to identify user behavior that indicates trust. The social networking information can also include the number of followers or "friends" of the customer, characteristics of "friends" of customer, characteristics of followers of the customer, the types of characteristics of user groups, and other social networking information that may indicate a level of trust or confidence in a customer.

The whole thing sounds like it was written by some manbaby who is having a tantrum that mom won't go shopping for him:

Moreover, with conventional brick-and-mortar merchants, when a consumer is seeking a sales associate for assistance, the consumer often leaves the proximity of the product. As a result of leaving the proximity of the product, the likelihood of the consumer buying the product significantly decreases. In other cases, although the consumer may find an associate, the consumer may discover the associate is busy or otherwise engaged and cannot help. Furthermore, upon finding an associate, the consumer often learns that the particular associate is not knowledgeable in the relevant product area. Overall, the effort required for the consumer to obtain assistance within a conventional brick-and-mortar merchant is often inefficient and frustrating. In turn, the inability for conventional brick-and-mortar merchants to provide efficient and timely consumer support frequently results in a loss of sales for the merchant and increased dissatisfaction of consumers.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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7 Responses:

  1. Jackson says:

    This is like Internet of Shit style Minority Report.

    We are so fucked.

    • James says:

      Every decade needs at least one to keep the caterers in the black.

      • Jackson says:

        Anyone else remember

        I remember printing out a PDF on Avery label sheets filled with absurd URLs like "". I'm pretty sure it was late stage dot-com bubble, just poking fun at the absurdity.

  2. MattyJ says:

    Aw, man, am I gonna have to go full Juggalo at the mall now, too?

    Facial Recognition Tech Is No Match for Juggalo Makeup

    • Doodpants says:

      Of course, Juggalo makeup only works if you don't use the same configuration each time. Plus it's time consuming to apply and remove. What I want is a fully functional Rorschach mask.

  3. Kaleberg says:

    Amazon isn't doing much better. As Barbie said, "Retail is hard." (Mind you, she's good at it. Don't underestimate her.) I dropped by the Amazon Store in University Village in Seattle. Each book had a QR code in front of it on the shelf. The idea was that I could take out my phone, fire up the Amazon app and aim the camera at the code and find out more about the book. Silly, but sensible in its way. I do sillier things at the airport. Unfortunately, Verizon didn't have a signal in the store. I asked a few other customers. AT&T was also unreachable. I suspect Sprint and T-Mobile weren't doing any better, but this was an upmarket mall. There was a signal available outside, but the books and QR codes were inside. I have no idea how this was supposed to work. I'm guessing someone has a patent on it.

  4. Cool Charac says:

    This patent should be called "the customer recognition system 101", it doesn't even make sense.

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