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Japanese Innovation

 - Nov 5, 2007
References: blog.scifi
The Japanese government no longer has to worry about minors purchasing tobacco illegally via cigarette vending machines, thanks to a new innovation that allows the machine to scan the user's face to determine his/her age.

"A new machine is in development that will have facial-recognition software built in to gauge the age of wannabe purchasers," SciFi blog said. "If they have a young-looking face, it'll require photo ID, which it will then compare with your actual face to determine if it's legit. It's a pretty clever and sophisticated system, one that's clearly way more expensive than just forcing people to go deal with a human being at a convenience store but much more convenient for the many smokers of Japan."

Very smart; I grew up in Germany, and it's incredible how many kids, some as young as 9 or 10, can go to the street corner to get cigarettes. Just like a pop machine, all you have to do is insert your money, pick a brand, and the machine will spit out the carton of choice.

There seems to be a lot of room for error though, and I'm filled with a lot of questions. This will be an interesting innovation to track as it evolves.