NEC outs $880 facial recognition system, lets merchants track clients with only a PC and video camera

NEC has launched a $880 per month service in Japan that lets merchants profile customers using just a PC and video camera. The system uses facial recognition powered by the company's cloud computing service to estimate the gender and age of clients, along with the frequency of their shopping expeditions across multiple locations. The firm developed the "NeoFace" tracking software in-house, claiming it was the highest ranked facial recognition system in NIST and that it plans to use it for other services like "intruder surveillance" in the future. NEC added that face data is encrypted so it can't be "inadvertently disclosed," and is strictly to help retailers fine-tune their marketing strategies. After watching the system pick off face after face in the video after the break, we just hope it doesn't go rogue.