Facial recognition technology is making its way from retailers in Japan to North American shopping malls, according to an article on cba.ca.

NeoFace is a face detection engine, created by IT developer NEC, that estimates the age and gender of customers in a retail environment. It gathers this data, along with dates and times that a customer visits stores, to help companies tailor their marketing strategies, the article reported.

A demo video targeted at North American retailers shows how the service can be used to improve sales pitches and in-store displays.

"This service is mainly intended for retailers that have several stores," said company representative Motohiro Iwao in the video, explaining how the software can detect repeat customers across numerous locations. "Retailers can find out how many customers visit their stores at each time of day, and what customers' attributes are."

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