7-Eleven tests facial-recognition technology

7-Eleven Japan has opened an experimental concept store in Tokyo offering payment through facial-recognition technology developed by NEC.

The trial is a precursor to a planned rollout of unmanned convenience stores in locations such as office buildings, car parks and factories allowing consumers to purchase essential items where it may not be commercially viable to operate a full-scale staffed store.

The test store is located inside a building which is home to companies from the NEC group and can be accessed only by employees.

Facial-recognition technology identifies shoppers when they enter the store and again when they make payment. The cost of purchases is deducted from their salaries.


Rival retail groups including Aeon and FamilyMart have already adopted self-service payment checkouts and Lawson is trialling a scheme using barcodes scanned by smartphones.

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