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Age estimation technology gains momentum following UK Home Office 2022 pilot scheme

By Dr Andrew O’Brien, Biometrics Product Manager

Home Office Sandbox Pilot
Last year, we successfully trialled our age estimation technology at several Bestway stores as part of UK Home Office pilot scheme. The trial ran from February 2022 to 31 May 2022, and our technology was used to help Bestway abide by the law currently in place to prevent alcohol being mis-sold to anyone underage.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published its findings from the regulatory sandbox trial at the end of 2022.  The overall indication from the sandbox pilot and uptake of age estimation technology suggests that there is a keen appetite for such technology. The work is an important step to further understand what needs to be in place to successfully embed age verification technologies into existing monitoring and enforcement licensing rules.

Innovative Technology’s age estimation technology in action
During the trial, the age of all shoppers was checked using our age estimation technology. Our standalone hardware unit assessed a customer’s age from their facial features. The device clearly shows the till operator if a manual ID check is recommended. The LED turns green if the person in front of the camera is 25 or over and red if the person’s age is estimated to be under 25, prompting the till operator to check ID.  It is designed to be a guide for the till operator to help retailers make more informed judgments in this vital decision-making process.

The results
The results were positive and welcoming towards this emerging technology. An impressive 70% of staff thought the device guided them when estimating age, with over three quarters of those questioned reporting it as a deterrent for under 18s from trying to buy alcohol in the first place. Over half those staff questioned at the start of the trial stated that they had suffered some level of abuse when asking for ID in the past, but a notable 62% said that they believed that the technology helped prevent confrontation during the trial. At the end of the pilot our stats showed that over 75% said they would like to continue using the technology and as a result we still have our age estimation devices working in several Bestway stores, as well as in various other retail outlets.

Why choose us?
The beauty of our age estimation technology is that have built and trained our own algorithms, rather than use publicly available databases, to give a highly secure, unbiased, completely offline and fast anonymous age estimation solution. The technology has the highest accuracy of any independently tested solution and was the first to gain GDPR certification from the Age Check Certification Scheme (ACCS).  And for those businesses who may be worried about the cost of implementing a technology still in its infancy, we provide unlimited age checks for a one-off fee making this technology affordable to all.

Following the trial..
Since the 2022 convenience store trials, we have continued to invest in our age estimation technology.  Feedback from our participation in the pilot led directly to the development of our latest age estimation device – MyCheckr, an all-in-one unit that performs anonymous age estimation. We have also implemented technology upgrades such as the roll-out of our unique fraud detection technique across all our biometric products. This in-house, bespoke Presentation Attack Detection or PAD guarantees spoof-detection for those trying to trick the system using photographs or videos.

Find our more…
Feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit https://www.intelligent-identification.com for more information.