A new state-of-the-art age verification device that automates the policy for controlling access to age-restricted purchases and premises has been launched.

The so-called ICU, produced by Innovative Technology Limited (ITL), uses intelligent biometric algorithms to verify age for the purchase of restricted products, such as alcohol.

The camera in ICU captures an image of the customer and uses biometric identification to recognise and verify their age, without storing any images or personal data so there are no implications for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and no privacy concerns for the operator.

Retail & kiosk sales director, Tony Morrison, said: “We have used our expertise and some of the technology from our well-established cash handling products and applied this to create an automated age recognition device which uses intelligent biometrics.

“Automation is key; with retail self-service check-outs a key application where both customers and retailers can benefit from automating the age verification process for restricted purchases, speeding up purchases for customers rather than having to wait for an assistant to approve. ICU is a standalone unit, there is no need for customers to pre-register, providing a seamless service for the end user.”

ITL acknowledge that age restrictions vary from country to country, but the ICU, which is available at a “competitive price”, can be tailored to meet the age restrictions and specific regulations of any country.

ICU product manager, Dr. Daniel Lonsdale, said: The data science behind reading and verifying banknotes is highly applicable to automating the age verification process, so we’ve got our 26-year history behind us. There are many benefits to the operator, but the main aim is to improve the customer experience by speeding up the age verification approval process.

“This in turn will result in increased throughput and revenue as customers move through the purchase process at a faster rate. Implementing ICU frees up staff time, reducing the staff levels required for either age-restricted purchase approvals or stopping entry to age-restricted premises.

“Lowest cost of ownership is ensured as the software required is included in this standalone unit and there are no 3rd party fees or ongoing costs. No expensive hardware is needed, and integration is simple as the device can mounted horizontally or vertically.”