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London Bars Trial Facial Recognition to Catch Queue-Jumping Bozos

A new piece of software could end the fine art of getting a bartender’s attention

Getting served at a bar could mean facial recognition technology in London Datasparq [Official Photo]

Facial recognition is the new way to get served at the bar, folks

It’s the social ritual that has inspired screeds and screeds on etiquette, tactics, and tekkers — and now it could all be dictated by a computer. New facial recognition technology introduced by Datasparq and reported by the Evening Standard tells a bartender who’s next in line, and could allow customers to use their face as a tab. It also plans to use people’s faces to assess how drunk they are in the future, which, frankly, sounds like it would never work; but there’s also hope it could eliminate shitty bartenders who discriminate against people based on race or gender.

The company claims that all data is deleted after each service, but that hasn’t stopped privacy concerns being, well, a concern — Big Brother Watch, which is a real organisation’s name, says “The British pub is an institution and as along as our pubs are properly staffed there is no need for these surveillance-gimmicks.” For now, it’s only in one bar, so please continue whatever tried-and-tested technique it is that gets the drinks in before everyone else. And if there are any queue-jumpers reading this, know that the reckoning is on its way. [Evening Standard]

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