Walmart considers face recognition technology to determine your needs

Walmart
In this Thursday, June 1, 2017, photo, customers shop at a Walmart store in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. Hundreds of inventors are auditioning their wares for Walmart, hopeful the world’s largest retailer will consider their products the next big thing and stock them on shelves in nearly 4,700 brick-and-mortar stores. They’ve already been promised spots on the company’s online portals as it battles Amazon for billions of dollars in revenue. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In an effort to turn your frown upside down, Walmart could use a video system to monitor customers’ facial expressions.

A recent patent filing suggests the company may be working on the system to alert employees to respond to customers if shoppers appear frustrated or unhappy. Employees can then help them make a selection or find something within the store, in an effort to boost customer service and address issues before customers complain, according to Business Insider.

“It is easier to retain existing customers than acquire new ones through advertising,” reports the Business Insider on the patent filing. “Often, if customer service is inadequate, this fact will not appear in data available to management until many customers have been lost. With so much competition, a customer will often simply go elsewhere rather than take the time to make a complaint.”

The system could also be used to determine shopping trends and find out which products are popular by analyzing how customers react.

Walmart has tested facial recognition in the past. In 2015, it tested a technology to try to detect shoplifters.

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