Cali Group and NEC Corporation of America unveiled new AI-enabled self-ordering kiosks at CaliBurger, Cali Group’s restaurant operating division. The kiosks use NEC’s NeoFace facial recognition software to identify registered customers and pull up their loyalty accounts and order preferences. The kiosk pilot program is now at CaliBurger’s Pasadena location, where the quick-serve rstaurant chain showcases new technologies developed by its parent company. If customers are pleased with the new ordering experience, the kiosks will be rolled out to CaliBurger’s global locations next year. Also in 2018, the platform will be used to allow customers to pay using their faces.
As shown in the demo video, customers will have the option of immediately activating their loyalty accounts as they approach the kiosks without needing to swipe a card or type in identifying information. The loyalty account shows a customer's favorite historical meal packages, enabling the customer to complete the ordering transaction in a matter of seconds.
"Face-based loyalty significantly reduces the friction associated with loyalty program registration and use; further, it enables a restaurant chain like CaliBurger to provide a customized, one-on-one interactive experience at the ordering kiosk," says John Miller, Chairman and CEO of Cali Group. "Our goal for 2018 is to replace credit card swipes with face-based payments. Facial recognition is part of our broader strategy to enable the restaurant and retail industries to provide the same kinds of benefits and conveniences in the built world that customers experience with retailers like Amazon in the digital world.”
In addition to using facial recognition to enhance and improve the customer experience in restaurants, Cali Group is pioneering: AI and robotics to automate kitchen equipment and monitor the dining area; social gaming for entertainment in the dining area; and infrastructure for autonomous vehicles to deliver fresh food.
Cali Group worked with global technology firm NEC Corporation of America to integrate NEC’s facial recognition technology into its loyalty program. In 2017, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology ranked NEC’s platform the most accurate in the world for one-to-many searching.
“NEC’s face recognition software technology is considered among the world’s most accurate, making it an ideal tool for retailers seeking to provide the best possible customer service and convenience for their customers,” says Matt Worley, Vice President, Retail Solutions, NEC Corporation of America. “We are committed to helping Cali Group reinvent the customer experience in the best ways possible, and I encourage anyone attending NRF 2018 to come see a demonstration of the technology in action.”