Sydney café brings in customer facial recognition technology

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A Sydney cafe has installed facial recognition technology to remember customers and their coffee orders. The software, created by company NoahFace, is being used at Bahista Cafe in Sydney.

Geoff Cropley and Julie Buchanan opened up Bahista Cafe three years ago. They found it difficult to remember thousands of names and thought technology might be the answer.

The pair teamed up with software developer John MacLean and NoahFace was born.

“Having thousands of customers… we realised we would recognise names but not faces… and that was a bit embarrassing,” Mr Cropley explained.

The technology uses two iPads at the register- one looks at the customer, and the other faces staff. When a customer walks in it recognises their face, and tells the barista their name and usual order. Since installing the system a year ago the cafe now has over 2,000 names in their database.

“We’ve had overwhelming support on the software,” Mr Cropley said. “We’ve created a family… because we are now all on first name basis.”

Coffee orders have surged 34 percent in the last year, and business is up 25 percent Mr Cropley said.

The technology is already being used at a number Sydney cafes and the creators of the software have had inquiries from overseas.

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