E-cigarette manufacturer RELX Technology has launched Project Sunflower, a system designed to prevent minors from accessing to tobacco products.
Project Sunflower uses ID and facial recognition technologies to ensure that only adults are able to purchase products in RELX’s China stores. Minors are not allowed to enter RELX stores, and new in-store face-scanning cameras will send alerts to RELX store staff if a suspected minor enters the store. Any suspected minor that is not able to present legal, valid identification that proves he or she is an adult will be asked to leave the RELX store.
RELX customers will also need to verify their age through a facial recognition process that matches the customer’s face with the photo on the customer’s Chinese Resident Identity Card. This process is to ensure that the person in the store is using their own valid identification and not attempting to impersonate an adult.
RELX is also launching RELX smart vending machines using the same facial recognition technology to prevent underage access.
The company plans to install Project Sunflower cameras and facial recognition systems in more than 100 shops in the next three months and aims to expand the system to cover all RELX Stores in China by July 2020.
RELX is currently developing a tracking system that connects customers, product bar codes and shop locations. Once the system is complete, RELX will be able to trace a product to its point of sale if a minor is found to be in possession of a RELX product.
“We are committed to ensuring that our products do not end up in the hands of minors. Project Sunflower is testament to our commitment to utilizing the latest advancements in technology to strengthen the prevention of minors from accessing our vapor products, ”said Kate Wang, CEO of RELX.