National Pharmacies harnesses VR, facial recognition


VR facial recognition technology

Self service via facial recognition and an augmented reality app are two ways in which the National Pharmacies chain is steering its services into the future

The group has implemented a range of kiosks which use facial recognition technology to allow customers to self serve, IT News reports.

The Samsung tablets run the Oracle mobile cloud service and allow the pharmacies’ customers to register and authenticate themselves via the kiosk, which takes a picture and sends it to Amazon’s Rekognition image analysis tool.

Speaking at the Oracle Open World 2017 conference, National Pharmacies’ general manager Ryan Klose said that the group had trialed Rekognition and become convinced that it should be used with Oracle’s technology, rather than on its own.

“We had to deal with people using pictures of themselves on their phone to register their face. If you want to log on as me and you didn’t use any other technology (to verify the photo) then it would just work with a photo,” Mr Klose said.

IT News reporter Sholto Macpherson writes that Mr Klose was sparing about the details of the system’s security measures, but did say that “the less predictable you are, the better”.

National Pharmacies customers can use the kiosks to update their membership profile, look at past purchases and book appointments to see a pharmacist for professional services.

The group is also able to send vouchers to registered customers when the system realised they were close to promotional points, such as bus stops or shopping centres.

Mr Klose said National is also developing an augmented reality app inspired by last year’s Pokemon Go fad.

The app, called vOffer, will let registered users look at a shop via their phone’s camera, and check out prices and product information adapted to their own purchase patterns.

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