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Face-Scanning Vending Machine Denies Children Access To Pudding

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-are-an-unfit-mother dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 215

smitty777 writes "What do you do when you spend over a billion dollars on products targeted specifically for adults? Simple, just put a device on your pudding dispensing vending machines that scans faces, and denies the delicious food to the kiddies. The Minority Report-like device will apparently judge the age of the individual based on the space between their eyes and ears. If the criteria is not met, the vending machine will shut down and ask the individual to step away from the machine. There are some vending machine combos that this makes sense for, but seriously — pudding?"

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215 comments

You still can't have your pudding... (5, Funny)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480836)

...even if you've had your meat.

(apologies to Pink Floyd)

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (4, Funny)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481082)

unless it's black... [wikipedia.org]

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481410)

Why would anyone eat blood?

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481580)

Well, why do you eat muscle tissue and drink cow milk?

Meat and milk don't have blood (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481672)

Well, why do you eat muscle tissue and drink cow milk?

Because they don't have blood in them. Meat (animal muscle) has had its blood drained out of it, and milk doesn't have blood in it for the same reason that sweat doesn't.

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481708)

Because it goes well with eggs, sausage, bacon, and hash browns?

I'm geussing you are unfamiliar with the traditional English breakfast.

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481740)

It's a natural food high in iron, good for that half of our species that drains iron away through a hole once a month.

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481112)

Even better would be if the machine screamed "Stand still laddie" while it was trying to do the facial recognition :)

What they should do... (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481234)

If the machine is going to meter pudding based on the metrics of the would-be buyer, then it should base its decision on the relative size of belly or bum to height (or some similar fat/slender axis), not on the size of the head.

Of course, it would be better if the machine did not attempt to make any such decisions, as there are probably enough cases where the decision would be wrong (small adult, etc.). Lawsuits ahoy!

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (1, Troll)

INT_QRK (1043164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481206)

But more seriously, am I the only one sick and f r e a k i n g tired of erstwhile do-gooders running around trying to enforce their superior judgements on everybody else? Even if I may agree with some of their good ideas, I don't want them to be coercively enforced on everyone unless there is a legitimate criminal, or real public safety aspect to them (and by real public safety I mean leading to imminent danger, not "may contribute to poor eating habits in some people"). Sheesh! This kind of crap makes my blood boil.

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (3, Insightful)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481306)

According to TFA, it's not really about enforcing some sort of moral code. They developed this machine so that it only dispenses free marketing samples to their target demographic. I mean, from a really wide angle, I can sort of understand what they were thinking, but really? It all sounds like something that someone would shout out in a brainstorming meeting and everyone would get in a good chuckle and move on. Why not just pay someone minimum wage to dispense samples? It's a marketing gimmick, and it's a really stupid use of technology. I could also see it backfiring because it can't be 100% accurate. How insulted would you be if you stepped up to this machine and it identified you as a child? "NO PUDDING FOR YOU!" What if you had some sort of condition that caused your facial proportions to be childlike? What if there was a random software error? I can't believe they spent time, effort and money actually developing this.

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481752)

"Awww" "Shaddup kid, and go get me some pudding from that machine over there, then maybe we'll talk about your allowance"

Re:You still can't have your pudding... (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481678)

Seriously : an article on banning PUDDING for children , on Christmas ? That's just evil.
But i don't worry too much : children are very creative , and if they are told they can't have something, they will find a way around it.

Look young? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480838)

Too bad for you.

Re:Look young? (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480848)

Maybe it's a good thing, it might stop all those botox-filled face-lifted women.

Re:Look young? (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481066)

Are you sure this specific demographic would eat pudding? Think of all the carbs, lactose and unsaturated fats (at least if it's real pudding).

Alcoholic puddings? (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480840)

Perhaps it's a pudding with some sort of heinous liquor in it?

I mean, we must think of the children...

Re:Alcoholic puddings? (5, Insightful)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480854)

Ok, now that I've read TFA, there's no booze in the pudding. This is what it says:

"It's probably a good measure to prevent unmonitored children from taking more than their fair share of pudding cups"

FWIW, I know quite a few adults, probably myself included, who can be worse than children when it comes to taking more than their fair share...

Re:Alcoholic puddings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480950)

More likely thinking of the adults having to deal with the sugar frenzy, not to mention the throwing up. And I wonder whether allergies and liability also plays a part.

Re:Alcoholic puddings? (5, Informative)

duguk (589689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481004)

More likely thinking of the adults having to deal with the sugar frenzy, not to mention the throwing up. And I wonder whether allergies and liability also plays a part.

Sugar-hyperactivity [medicinenet.com] is a MYTH. Surprising, I know; but before you react, have a think about it for a while. The same is said to apply to E-numbers. Although some people are allergic to it, hyperactivity is very unusual.

Also, I don't understand the logic of this company, they destroyed Cadbury's in the UK after closing one of their large factories here. Now they want to restrict who can buy their products. If children are out alone, surely they can buy this product elsewhere? I can't imagine any shopkeep refusing a sale because it's a chocolate cake that was "designed for adults".

Re:Alcoholic puddings? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481166)

Now they want to restrict who can buy their products.

... taste their product for free. Everyone is welcome to buy it, but it is reasonable for a company to try and focus your food sampling investment to your target demographic to maximise effect.

Re:Alcoholic puddings? (2)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481178)

Anyone who thinks that food does not affect your body and mind is clearly delusional. But likewise is everyone who thinks in monocausalities and simple, 2-step causality chains.

Hyperactivity is real, though exaggerated like most things in the thiiink ooof theee chiiiiiiiiiiiiiildren area. And changes in diet do have effects, though I'm not sure anyone knows for sure just what the causes are and what changes are required and which ones don't really do anything.

It does increase the glucose concentration (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481494)

Quoting Dr. Burks from the linked page, with my emphasis: "There haven't been any good scientific studies that show that there is an adverse effect on a child or adult's behavior chronically with the ingestion of foods." I'd guess some might worry about the acute effects of a rise in blood glucose causing a child to want to become more active. Have any studies looked at the correlation between blood glucose and a child's urge to play, and if so, could you link to the a report?

Re:Alcoholic puddings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481536)

This article is a typical example of overthinking things. It's plainly obvious to anyone who's ever watched a child that sugar will make a child hyper. Hell, sugar makes ME hyper.

Re:Alcoholic puddings? (0)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481642)

Yer full of shit.

Of course, the same folks that say sugar, a compound that contains loads of energy to the point that it BURNS WELL has no goddamn effect on metabolism and neurological function are the SAME SET OF PEOPLE that claim dyes, minuscule parts per billion or trillion pesticide residue, having been irradiated with high energy photons or electrons, etc. etc. are all dangerous.

Fucking pseudo-scientific lies. Go fix your body thetans or something.

Fut ist gut, wenn stinken tut! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480842)

Fut ist gut, wenn stinken tut!

As if adults are any better. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480868)

I can get that they made a pudding that, supposedly, is designed for adult tastes, and they'd like to get it so their target audience is who gets it, but I don't think this really deals with the real problem of an automated free samples machine.

And that problem is, whether an adult or child, you'll get people that keep coming for more and more samples if they can. Even just one guy/lady doing that can ruin this by taking all of the puddings. And without some old lady handing out the free samples, even the slight shame from going back for more free samples won't come into play. I'm sorry old lady! But you microwave a damned good hot pocket.

Also, given reverse psychology and all that, denying kids something because it's "for adults" makes it more likely that kids will go out and buy ASAP. So this is marketing on MULTIPLE levels. DEVIOUS.

Re:As if adults are any better. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481098)

That's easy to solve. Facial recognition. Just store all faces to which a pudding has been dispensed for an hour or so, and refuse to give to anyone on that list.

In theory someone could just bring a book of faces to hold in front of the camera, but who would go to that much trouble for pudding?

Re:As if adults are any better. (1)

type40 (310531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481168)

Also, given reverse psychology and all that, denying kids something because it's "for adults" makes it more likely that kids will go out and buy ASAP. So this is marketing on MULTIPLE levels. DEVIOUS.

See, that was my first thought.

corp drone 1: How can we convince adults to buy this pudding?
corp drone 2: Easy, get their 5 to 9 year-olds bother them unceasingly about it till they cave.
corp drone 1: Yeah, but that would require a marketing campaign aimed at the kids. We want the parents to buy it for them selves in addition to the pudding cups they buy the kids.
corp drone 2: Just sell it to the kids the way we sell cigarettes and malt liquor to teens, tell them they can't have any because they're not old enough.
corp drone 1: Right! Crap my soul must be growing back because I should have seen that one staring me in the face.
corp drone 2: I keep telling you, every other month get that shit cut out. It grows fast and costs you money.
   

Smaller sized adults? (4, Interesting)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480874)

So what about a person who has a growth problem and doesn't grow any bigger than the size of a 10yr old. This is a law suit waiting to happen.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480906)

Smaller-sized adults should be banned anyway. They are encouraging paedophilia.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480954)

And if they take pictures of themselves having sex, it's child pornography. Unless you can prove it was really an adult on the film.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (2)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480978)

Not in Australia it considered CP if the participant "appears to be under eighteen."

Re:Smaller sized adults? (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480994)

Here in Sweden, it's the same, but you can get away if you can prove the model was 18 or older. The law is basically written to shift the burden of proof over on the accused.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481106)

Australia, the US and UK all go one better than that: They consider it to be CP if any of the subjects appears to be under eighteen even if there are no actual subjects, merely artistic depictions. Australia jailed one person for Rule 34 art of Lisa Simpson*, and the US jailed one person for possession of hentai comics.

*He had prior convictions for actual child porn, so the jury was eager to throw the book at him..

Serious artistic value (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481560)

the US jailed one person for possession of hentai comics.

Are you talking about the cases listed here [wikipedia.org] ? If so, the relevant statute incorporates the Miller test, meaning any cartoon CP with serious artistic value is excluded from the ban. In the case of Steven Kutzner, for example, the use of copyrighted characters created by Matt Groening might have been an aggravating factor in determining lack of serious artistic value.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481144)

They have had these machines in Japan for a few years and some adults couldn't use them. Kids quickly discovered that holding up a photo of an adult works well though.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481184)

I might be wrong but I don't think that most countries make it against the law for vending machines to contain bugs that prevent a sale.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (2)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481196)

In the US this would fall under handicap discrimination laws. They don't need a specific law. Everything must be accessible to people with disabilities.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481212)

But disabled people can get it in general, sure some of them will be turned away by a bug in the device, or because it is working perfectly and they are children.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481746)

If that bug can be seen as discrimination, then yes, there's a law against that in most countries. And since our country now has "anti-age discrimination" laws (which were actually aimed at not discriminating against older people), I could even see this being used here by some shyster. You have a product that is arguably not harmful to children being refused to be sold to children.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481656)

Yeah, lawsuit. Because someone didn't get their free pudding sample.
You're a moron.

Re:Smaller sized adults? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481754)

There've been lawsuits over more trivial things in the past. How long have you been living in this world of "entitlement" and still think that there won't be anyone making a stink over something as petty as pudding? Especially with the big bucks that can me milked out of anti-discrimination lawsuits.

Easy hack. (5, Interesting)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480884)

The Japanese Cigarette vending machines with facial recognition were pulled, when they discovered that holding up a scale photo or magazine picture would pass the age check.

Re:Easy hack. (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480946)

I could image that this would be quite amusing for bored kids . . . holding up: Halloween masks, a painted basketball, pumpkins, cabbage, iPads . . . etc.

Hell, it would be even amusing for me . . .

Re:Easy hack. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38480976)

With a Kinect-style imaging device it could detect the 2D nature of the photo. Then you'd have to use a mannequin head.

Re:Easy hack. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481154)

it's so easy to fool them, that it's stupid that anyone thought they could get away by using those machines.
same goes for face scan log-in.
at the minimum you need a 3d facial scan for the age check too, even then it would be pretty crappy(you'd just need a mask for the trick). though I'd have passed that test at maybe 14, so it would have been pretty sweet.. think of all that pudding.

Re:Easy hack. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481210)

In this case, the penalty for breach is low enough that it isn't worth the expense of high security. The worst that can happen would be someone stealing a few sample-sized puddings.

Re:Easy hack. (1)

nojayuk (567177) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481544)

The oyaji (old guy) on a 5000 yen note would work on the cigarette machine face-recognition systems as well. They've switched to an ID card for cigarette vending machines; theory says only folks over 20 years old can get a card but that's as subject to abuse as you might expect.

One neat thing is that the cigarette vending machines switch themselves off at about 11:00 at night, same for the beer and spirits vending machines.

Re:Easy hack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481598)

A partial* fix would be trivial though: Hook up a Kinect and look for an actual 3D face.

* Of course that wouldn't stop someone from using a mannequin head or something. More difficult than a picture though.

let's see now (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480916)

1. Put in a smart vending machine that can veto a purchase
2. Accept a bribe from Pepsi to "accidentally" deny Coke purchases on occasion
3. Profit!

My evil plan (5, Funny)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480922)

Put a scale in front of it.
Anyone over 100 Kilo will not be served :)

Re:My evil plan (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480934)

You need a height to weight ratio to make this a better idea. A four-foot-ten woman (1.4 meters) at 180 pounds (80 kilos) definitely needs to be cut off, too.

Re:My evil plan (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481102)

Putting a relative scale on drafting "deliverables" was one of the greatest inventions ever in this computer age.

Trust me.

Paul, old fart draftsman

Down with smart machines. (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480948)

While good in theory, in practice they are about as open to abuse as diebold's voting machines.

I simply do not trust that a machine with hidden logic will remain untainted, either from the touch of a hacker OR a corrupt programmer.

Now counting to see how long it takes for one of these machines to be abused like DRM.

Re:Down with smart machines. (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480968)

But unlike Diebold's voting machines, the worst thing that can happen from abuse is that the wrong people get free pudding...

Re:Down with smart machines. (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480984)

Which is pretty much the same as with voting machines, except the voting machines will deny the pudding to 99% of the people.

Re:Down with smart machines. (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480992)

HAHA, I just pictured a granola bar wrapping itself back up when you try to pass the second half to a friend!

RTFA - It's about only selling to their demo. (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480956)

As the article actually states, the reason they're using this technology isn't because of some pudding shortage or the contents of the pudding. It's just that Jell-O is marketing the pudding to adults and they only want to sell it to their demographic. I'm sure this will go over well in the future, when companies decide that they only want white people to buy their products or that they don't want their vending machines selling anything to gingers.

Re:RTFA - It's about only selling to their demo. (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481000)

They are not selling they are giving the product away.

Re:RTFA - It's about only selling to their demo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481186)

The difference between selling and giving away in this context is nil.

Re:RTFA - It's about only selling to their demo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481444)

Not really, this is more about replacing humans with machines in giving out free samples to those who are more likely to have money. Overengineered and relatively ineffective? Definitely, but still probably cheaper then humans if done over an extended period of time and reused alot.

Re:RTFA - It's about only selling to their demo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481748)

The train station on my way to work often has people handing out free samples to travellers in the mornings; usually new food or drink products.
If they're surrounded by people, the marketers will prioritise in giving the samples to office worker adults, before giving them to the school kids. Presumably they're instructed to do this, for obvious reasons (adults have money).

This is exactly the same thing, but with a vending machine instead of a human. Even if the method fails, and most kids find a way around it, it's still better than giving samples away to every kid. Whether that failure is enough to justify the cost of the facial recognition functionality, or the comparative cost to hiring humans, is up to the company to determine; after all their goal is to make more money.

Re:RTFA - It's about only selling to their demo. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481744)

Correct. I probably should have mentioned that, too. :)

Re:RTFA - It's about only selling to their demo. (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481140)

Where do you get "white people" from? Jeez. Maybe the taste of the pudding is not liked by kids (like coffee or beer) and they don't want to forever alienate their potential customers at an early age. Inculcating future customers at a very early age is a well known way that companies build brand loyalty. Do you want to do that by teaching kids right off the bat to dislike Jell-O products?

Not to mention free advertising on Slashdot (4, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480962)

and every other technology outlet that covers the technology machine and every outlet concerned about health or childrens rights that covers this machine. Seriously could you imagine the amount of buzz/free advertising that would be generated by targeting only Men for example, and the number of women who would buy the product just to say "screw you I'll eat it anyways"?

Jello may have just invented the advertising by exclusion business model.

Re:Not to mention free advertising on Slashdot (3, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481132)

Seriously could you imagine the amount of buzz/free advertising that would be generated by targeting only Men for example, and the number of women who would buy the product just to say "screw you I'll eat it anyways"?

Yorkie (chocolate bars) did this in the UK. The slogan was "It's not for girls". Then they did a special pink version that was for girls. Last time I checked, women didn't need any more incentive to eat chocolate though.

They should... (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480964)

But first they need to link any machine that dispenses meat type products to machines dispensing pudding. After all; you can have any pudding if you don't eat your meat.

Santa (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481048)

I just send all my wishes to:
Claus, Santa
North Pole
Postal Code: H0H0H0
It's worked so far, he actually replies!

BFR. (Body Form Recognition) (2)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481056)

"judge the age of the individual based on the space between their eyes and ears." ...and the space between the 2 sides of their waist.

"Step away, fatso, no pudding for you!

Plurality fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481104)

"Criteria" does not go with "is", thank you.

We've seen this before... (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481126)

First they came for the pudding, and I didn't speak out because I was on a diet...

Distance between the eyes does not change much (3, Interesting)

pfafrich (647460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481134)

A while back I did some work looking at how people faces change with age for a medicinal application. One quite surprising thing is how little the distance between the eyes actually change, quite young children will have the the same distance as adults. On the other hand noses keep growing throughout life.

Re:Distance between the eyes does not change much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481448)

yes, you need the large nose to sniff out the pudding!

Because you can't untell a lie (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481634)

On the other hand noses keep growing throughout life.

Because you can't untell a lie.

"Please Sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481138)

I want some more..."

-Charles Dickens

will not work, kids are vindictive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481320)

The kids will either block the camera's view and get what they want or, if that does not work, take revenge and permanently block the camera's view in some way so nobody will be able to get some.

Idiocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481590)

Here's your extra big ass fries. You are a bad mother and your children will be taken away from you. Minority report doesn't have anything on Idiocracy when it comes to vending machines.

What about the "little people"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481592)

What about the height challanged? What about those kids that had growth spurts and are bigger than what they should be for their age? This recklessness in having a machine arbitrarly saying who can and can not get something is outrageous. I think a lawsuit is in order. There had better be a phone number that can be called to override for override the ruleing by this machine. Oh my the machines are now ruling us!!!!!

Door handles? FACE CRADLES? Germs,, (1)

flying squirrels (2496274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481620)

I don't like this face scanning thing. What if the dude before me has Stuxnet virus and I put my face in the scanner. Now I gotta reboot all my damn servers. I wouldn't even touch a common bathroom sink tap. What if the kid is wearing a mask? What if they ask a grown up to get one for them? How well does this scanner work when you rock the machine? How long till somebody decides to put sneezing powder on the scanner. Good idea though, those kids got too much damn freedom. I say we limit their water and air supply as well.

Giggling and Sniggering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481698)

Anyone else think "what the heck?!" when they first read the article title?
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