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Facebook face-recognition

I have been uploading a few pictures on Facebook in the last couple of weeks and the face recognition software they have in place is brilliant. It recognized all the faces in the pictures and I only had to tag a face once and the tag would appear in all the photos that that particular face appears in. This much is common knowledge for all of you I assume.

This means that Facebook maintains a database of what face belongs to whom. If you have four or five of your pictures in which you have different facial expressions, and if you're tagged in all of them, then no matter where you go, you will be recognized. Of course, your picture at that place has to be taken first. That is a fairly trivial task in the CCTV-everywhere-world.

This has a huge potential to completely revolutionize customer service.
How?

In the past few years, the trend has been shifting towards personal attention to every customer. Given a chance to provide personal attention and take into account the previous experiences and the likes & dislikes of a customer before offering him something, in a cost effective way, every business will undoubtedly choose to do so.

This will be a big plus for customers as well. I've heard a lot of people say that "I like going to that store near my house or the hair-salon near my house because I'm a regular there and the guy running the store knows what I like and there's a healthy relationship there." And this is a healthy relationship that most customers desire.

So how will it work?

Facebook will provide an interface to businesses (big and small) all over the world, where all the business owner needs to do is install a small camera at the entrance of his store and connect it to a software that Facebook will provide. Whenever a customer walks in, his photo is taken and uploaded on the software. The software is nothing but the Facebook Face-recognition software. It will compare the face with its database (location-based searches will drastically reduce time taken) and output a profile of the person who walked in. The profile will provide only data that is relevant to the store he's walked into. For example, if he walks into a Nike store, the profile will show what Nike and competitor products he's bought, how long ago, what product he's been talking about online in the last couple of weeks, what his budget is and so on. The employee facing the customer is now equipped with data that will help him serve the customer better. He will not irritate/embarrass the customer by trying to offer him things he doesn't wish to look at. The customer experience will be a lot better.

Win-win-win.

The customer wins because he has a better experience. The business wins because they are a lot more efficient now and have a much better way of targeting promotional offers and advertisements and customers. Facebook wins because it now has a new source of revenue.

Feasible?

Its simple enough in technology terms. Customer buy-in might be gradual. In two years from the launch, the practice has potential to be widely accepted.

Is Facebook working towards this?

I sure hope so!

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