As the holiday period is drawing near, finding a holiday spot can be a stressful time for some. With a world of destinations to choose from where do you start? What if there was a way to pick our holiday destination from our facial reactions? Facial recognition to be exact.
Have you been online and seen a montage of beautiful photos and thought “I want to go there, I’ll add that to the bucket list”. Now, imagine this. I’m going to show you a variety of photos from destinations around the world, and I’m going to pick your next holiday destination from your reactions. Australia, Samoa, Italy, Bali, Venice? None of these spark your interest, but then I hold up a photo of Rarotonga and your facial expression says it all; you’re already imagining yourself in the crystal clear waters, lying on the beach and being stuck on ‘island time’.
A new tool called SenseSational has been introduced by an online travel company called ebookers.com. The user is shown videos of various stages of the travel journey and it tracks facial reactions and gaze. Based on the users reactions a carefully selected range of destinations are shown to them to choose from. If this was used on me I think a platter of golden beaches would be accurate.
Let’s take a step back and dig deeper to what facial recognition, a type of Artificial Intelligence, actually is. As defined by Google facial recognition is “a biometric method of identifying an individual by comparing live capture or digital image data stored record for that person”. In simple terms your face is recognised by the different features on your face. Facial recognition is commonly used for security purposes such as the new feature on the iPhone X. No more fiddling around with passcodes or fingerprints, just look at your phone and boom you’re in. Now if it’s that simple to get in to your phone then imagine how fast it would be to choose a holiday destination with SenseSational.
Imagine the endless possibilities there would be with facial recognition branching out into other areas. Now picture this; you’re walking through Auckland CBD and on every different corner there are digital billboards, whether it be promoting a new movie, the latest range of Nike shoes or the local kebab shop.
You stop, pause and show interest in the new ‘Downsizing’ movie trailer. Your face lights up when you see that Matt Damon plays one of the lead characters and just like that you’re sold. The facial recognition function inside the billboard picks up on your excitement and interest in the trailer and immediately shows you different screening times throughout the week with QR codes for different cinemas. You grab your phone and scan the QR code, buy your ticket and carry on with your day, looking forward to a movie night later in the week. The thing is, 10 minutes prior to that you didn’t even know what ‘Downsizing’ was and now you have watched the trailer and purchased a ticket, all thanks to facial recognition.
Simply put; the trailer was shown to you, your face was screened and showed signs of interest with your gaze not leaving the billboard, it also picked up the motion of your lips moving as you chuckled. With the data stored from previous bypassers before you, both positive and negative reactions, it recognised you were in the positive percentage of bypassers and continued to market to you, in this case resulting in a movie ticket purchase.
Now of course don’t go in to Auckland CBD and stand in front of these billboards staring blankly for 10 minutes because 1. You would definitely look silly and 2. This feature has not been perfected yet. But hey, something to look forward to.
If your inner wanderluster is calling out to you, then why not try out this new tool. It’s never too late to book a holiday!