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Facedeals: Innovation or Intrusion?

Updated on July 26, 2013

Facedeals uses facial recognition cameras to check-in people on Facebook. This new technology benefits businesses and customers, but some people find it intrusive. What do you think?

A Facedeals facial recognition camera.
A Facedeals facial recognition camera. | Source

Facial Recognition Cameras

Social media check-ins are powerful tools for companies and businesses. They allow businesses to deliver unique, personalized deals to shoppers who check in on Facebook and other sites.

Special deals can help businesses connect with their customers. They're also a great marketing tool, and loyal customers can reap the benefits with discounts, freebies, and special offers.

Shoppers can get Facebook check-in deals by using their mobile smartphones. They simply check in at a participating business using Facebook for Android, iPhone, or Windows 7.

Now, an ad agency in Nashville, Tennessee, is taking check-ins a step further by using facial recognition cameras to check customers in on Facebook. The company is beta testing these cameras in restaurants, bars, and retail stores throughout the city.

The new check-in application is called Facedeals. It uses facial recognition software to match customer images with tagged Facebook photos. The app only recognizes people who have signed up for the service.

Test cameras are currently installed at the front door of several Nashville businesses. As shoppers enter an establishment, a camera reads their faces and attempts to identify them. Upon recognition, the app checks them in on Facebook. Based on their history of social "likes," shoppers receive store coupons and other personalized offers.

Facedeals Lets You Check in on Facebook With Your Face

A place page on a mobile application.
A place page on a mobile application. | Source

How Does Facedeals Work?

Facedeals has no actual connection to the Facebook social network. Facebook has not approved or endorsed the new app. Facedeals merely uses tagged Facebook photos as a reference point for its facial recognition processing.

To use Facedeals, customers must sign up for the service. The app works with the Facebook profiles of registered customers to verify photos and get a better face reading.

After the process is completed, customers can go about their daily business. If they enter a participating store or restaurant, Facedeals will automatically perform a check-in on Facebook.

Redpepper, the company behind the new app, says that businesses will send personalized offers straight to their customers' smartphones. The only thing that shoppers have to do is show their faces to the camera.

The cameras are small blue boxes with white lettering, designed to resemble the Facebook logo. These stand-alone devices operate from a 110-volt power source and a Wi-Fi connection. Redpepper used several open source technologies to develop the app: Arduino, OpenCV, Raspberry Pi, and Facebook Graph API.

Facedeals is currently limited to Nashville, where Redpepper has their offices. However, the company plans to expand the service to other cities in the United States and around the world.

CNN Report: Facedeals Camera Tracks Your Shopping Habits

Is Facedeals innovative or intrusive?

See results

Will This New App Fly?

Will the Facedeals app take off? The jury is still out. While participation requires Facebook users to sign up for the program, many people don't like the idea of cameras scanning their faces wherever they go.

What do you think about Facedeals? Is it technology innovation or privacy invasion? Cast your vote in the poll or share your thoughts in the comments section.

Reference Sources / Further Reading

Copyright © 2012. Annette R. Smith. All rights reserved.

Published: August 23, 2012 / Modified: July 26, 2013.

Facedeals: innovation or intrusion? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Facedeals: innovation or intrusion? Share your thoughts in the comments section. | Source

Your Turn: Tell Us What You Think

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    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Adams-ebooks. I appreciate your input. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Adams-ebooks profile image

      Adam Finan 5 years ago from Worldwide

      Intrusion! That is way to creepy..

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, Susette. Thank you for the read and comment. I don't like the idea of cameras, either. I can see how the app might be helpful for some patrons and businesses. But I don't like the privacy invasion that occurs with face recognition software, whether it's used with Facedeals cameras or Facebook tagging.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 5 years ago from Pasadena CA

      My question is, who does that camera record? It couldn't be only those who have signed up for the service, because how would it know you have or not, just by walking by a camera? It would have to be looking at everybody and checking everyone's face with their files. That's the part that's intrusive. It's a spy camera and could be used as such by other, less scrupulous owners. I'm inclined to not patronize a restaurant that has the camera mounted.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello teaches12345. I think many of us are taking a "wait and see" approach here. I'm glad the article was informative and helpful to you. Thank you for the vote up!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I don't know what to think yet. It could be helpful in some instances, but intrusive in others. You have given me much to think about. However, your post is very useful and informative. Voted up.