One of the wonderful things about Japan is that anybody can buy cigarettes from a vending machine. Even a 10 year old. But recently, some vending machine companies have started to implement face recognition technology that would guess the buyer’s age based o the size of their facial features and bone structure and then decide if they were underage or not. The government just announced its approval of this method for nationwide use.
The crackdown on cigarette purchases by minors began with the Taspo Card, a card you have to have in order to buy smokes from a machine. Hasn’t been universalized yet, but that’s the plan. It serves the same purpose as a driver’s license when you show ID at a smoke shop in the US.
I wonder how accurate the face recognition tech is though. It would suck if you’re just young-looking or have really small bones. And I have definitely seen some 12 year olds with bigger heads than their parents.