UNDERAGE SMOKERS face not being able to buy cigarettes in Japan because vending machines may soon start counting wrinkles, crow’s feet and skin sags to identify whether customers are old enough.
The legal age for smoking in Japan is 20 and as the country’s tobacco vending machines prepare for a new regulation requiring them to ensure buyers are not underage, a company has developed a system to identify age by studying facial features.
By having the customer look into a digital camera attached to the machine, Fujitaka Co’s system will compare facial characteristics, such as wrinkles surrounding the eyes, bone structure and skin sags, to the facial data of over 100,000 people.
“With face recognition, so long as you’ve got some change and you are an adult, you can buy cigarettes like before. The problem of minors borrowing identification cards to purchase cigarettes could be avoided as well,” said a spokesman for the company.
This method has yet to be approved by the government because of concerns about its accuracy.