CaliBurger’s new kiosk uses facial recognition to take orders

Finally, no more shaming when you ask for a diet Coke with your six burgers.

Cashier-less ordering kiosks are becoming more and more commonplace at fast food restaurants like Wendy's and McDonald's. But Golden State burger chain CaliBurger is taking that one step further: its new self-ordering kiosks use AI and facial-recognition technology to order, pay and log into the chain's loyalty/rewards program. It'll even remember your crazy custom order to boot.

"Our goal is to replace credit card swipes with face-based payments," parent company CEO John Miller said in a press release (PDF). Security and the underlying recognition tech are being handled by NEC Corporation. While this sounds incredibly convenient, it's basically just a high-tech way of pulling up a favorite order the way you would via a mobile-ordering app.

For now, the pilot program is only available at the chain's Pasadena test store, and CaliBurger says that if it proves a success there will be a global rollout next year. If you'll remember, that's the same location where CaliBurger tried out robotic burger-flipping. Unlike that test, though, this one seems expressly designed to eliminate human employees.