Kentucky Fried Chicken is once again showing how tech-savvy it is.
The fast food chain’s Chinese division, reports TechCrunch, is partnering up with Baidu(essentially China’s Google) to create a new tech-infused “smart restaurant” in Beijing that’ll use kiosks with facial recognition technology to scan a customer’s face and make food order suggestions based on their mood, age and gender.
The idea is either genius (it does all the decision-making for you!) or a terrible idea that could go wrong in so many ways.
In a press release, Baidu says a 20-something-year-old male might be recommended a “crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings and coke” meal for lunch. A female in her 50s, however, would be suggested “porridge and soybean milk for breakfast.”
I’m sure KFC China’s intentions are good, but why wouldn’t it suggest porridge and soybean milk to a 20-year-old male or fried chicken to a 50-year-old senior? Sure, an older person should probably eat a healthier meal, but damnit, they’re still people and who have cravings for batter-fried chicken, too.
The kiosks can recognize repeat customers and make order suggestions based on what they’ve ordered in the past.
The creepiest part of the kiosks might be the facial imaging database it creates. Baidu says the facial recognition technology can recognize repeat customers and make order suggestions based on what they’ve ordered in the past. For me, that’s going too far. I’m not down with KFC storing images of my face, even if it means knowing my condiment preference for drumsticks the next time I eat at the restaurant.
Customers will also be able to play augmented reality games by scanning a table sticker with their smartphones using the Mobile Baidu app.
The “smart restaurant” isn’t KFC China’s first attempt at fusing new technologies with its fast food restaurants.
Earlier this year, KFC China and Baidu teamed up for an “Original+” restaurant in Shanghai that lets customers make orders using Baidu’s cute little Duer robot. You can see how it works in the video below.
All of this doesn’t even include other weird stunts from KFC’s other branches, like Japan’s two-finger plastic chicken “condoms”, a meal box that charges your phone while you eat, Bluetooth keyboard trays and more.