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Lolly launches facial recognition service, introduces ‘Fergus’

Images: Lolly

Lolly, the hospitality technology specialist, has launched a new facial recognition system, along with debuting its first robotic offering.

LollyVerify intends to help hospitality providers automate the process of verifying a customer’s age. The system will confirm the age of an individual who purchases a product that has been flagged as age-restricted, within the Lolly database.

The system is built using an age estimation algorithm, with the camera activating and reviewing the age of the customer wishing to make the purchase. There is no picture taken, but instead, the software compares digital face markers to ascertain the age of the purchaser and prompts the server with a ‘please verify age’ message, if they are potentially below the age required.

Peter Moore, CEO at Lolly, said: “With a requirement in hospitality to check the age of a customer buying age-restricted items, LollyVerify will make the whole process much faster and easier. And – more importantly – it will ensure it happens every time.

“We are focused on improving the customer’s digital journey in hospitality and automating processes wherever possible. The future of hospitality will be centred around AI and machine learning, and increasingly we are seeing these being integrated into mainstream products.

“We’ll continue to evolve at Lolly to meet the demands of the customer – bringing exciting products such as LollyVerify into our digital suite.”

Meanwhile, Lolly has added its first LollyBot, ‘Fergus’, into its digital product portfolio. The robot waiter, which follows many months of development, has been designed to support a busy hospitality environment, in particular waiting-on staff.

The robot, which can operate for a whole evening, can take food from the kitchen to a table in a restaurant, navigating obstacles and people on its journey. It can also interact with customers, and then return to the kitchen. Not only a waiter, Fergus can also clear tables, helping staff focus on delivering an enhanced personal dining experience.

When the robot is not on the job, it will automatically return to its docking station, where it takes approximately three to four hours to fully recharge. 

Moore added: “We’re always innovating, and finding ways to take state-of-the-art technology and make it accessible, simple and highly agile. The launch of Fergus the new robot waiter is no exception. The LollyBots are intended to support busy waiting-on staff, particularly during these difficult times when it comes to staff recruitment and retention. 

“Aside from being an exciting attraction for customers, there is real commercial viability when it comes to investing in LollyBots. Fergus won’t ask for time off, will always show up for work and will do whatever you ask him to. The cost of robotics has also heavily reduced over recent years; the economics are beginning to really work. 

“Over the last couple of years, we have seen a rapid enhancement in the take up and use of technology, including AI and machine learning – all designed to streamline the customer experience. Resistance to future change is futile, and I believe robot waiting-on staff are here to stay. Their introduction will create new, highly valued roles in engineering, servicing and maintenance.”

The LollyBot is available either as a one-off purchase or a monthly lease scheme, which includes maintenance and support from Lolly. The leasing option features prices starting from approximately £750 (€830/$793) per month over a three-year period.