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For a year now, I’ve been thinking about how facial recognition software could be used at the front door of restaurants.

Restaurateurs ~ imagine this…

Chris Brogan walks into your restaurant. Now, Chris isn’t a bad looking fella, but if you aren’t passionate about social media, you probably won’t recognize him. It’s his first time at your spot.

Now imagine that a camera above the host stand scans the faces of people coming through the front door. The camera is tied into your point of sale system. The scan of Chris Brogan’s face is compared (ala NCIS style) against publicly available photos on social networks and services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Klout.

Bingo! A match! All of a sudden the host, and you, know that some guy with a huge online community has just been seated in your restaurant. Would this information be of instant value to your bottom line?

We’re already there with the technology. How long will it be before a service like this is unveiled at the National Restaurant Show? What are the advantages and disadvantages to restaurant operators? What are the ethical considerations?