PC Big Brother forces shop staff to smile
21st Feb 2009 | 06:17
Face-recognition technology makes happier workers
Rip-off Britain's service-with-a-snarl ethos could be about to get a kick in the pants thanks to a new system for shops and department stores that measures just how friendly staff are to customers.
The Okao software (it means 'honourable face', by the way) rates a smile based on factors that include the angles of the mouth and the corners of the eyes and spits out a score between zero and 100.
Omron says it intends shops to use the package to help train staff to be friendlier in their dealings with customers.
As that's generally not a problem in Japan, we can only assume it has designs on overseas markets in need of a boost on the retail frontline.
Pricing starts at ¥300,000 (£2,235) for a basic system, of which Omron hopes to sell at least 100 in the first year.