KFC’s latest oddball idea lets clients pay for chicken with just a smile

KFC is at it again, use technology in unusual ways to tempt people to feed greasy fried chicken.

This time, a store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou is deploying facial recognition–a technology increasingly used for smartphone authentification–as a new pay technique. Dubbed” Just Smile ,” the system lets clients pay by scanning their face and entering a phone number at an ordering kiosk. Annoyingly, clients will need to force a smile as grease resolves to their stomach and fast food funds get subtracted from their bank account.

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Joey Wat, president of Yum! China, said the store is for “young, tech savvy consumers,” according to Reuters. It’s also for people willing to give a close-up selfie and phone number to a fast food chicken place. At least KFC is aware people will inevitably try to trick its new machines.

“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,” Jidong Chen, director of biometric identification technology at Ant Financial, said in a statement.

The system is one piece of a conception store filled with odd tech ideas and uncharacteristically healthy food options. It’s practically a Panera, described by Reuters as having seasonal create, made-to-order salads, and paninis. Also, the chicken is “roasted,” something that’s sure to tick off the Colonel. It even has freshly squeezed juices, gourmet coffees, and best of all: beer.

This awkward smiling machine doesn’t even make the cut for KFC’s strangest tech-filled ideas. Last year, the fast food giant sold sunscreen that smelled like fried chicken and made a kiosk that recommends foods based on how you seem. This year, it shot a chicken sandwich to the edge of space and constructed a terrifying VR developing program. Whatever takes people’s minds off its food, I suppose.

H/ T Reuters

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