World's first facial recognition bar opens in UK to end queue-jumping

In these divisive times, something we can surely all agree on is that people who jump the queue at the bar are the worst.

Thankfully, that most annoying Friday night inevitability is set to become a thing of the past with the help of new facial recognition technology that will make getting drinks at busy pubs faster and fairer.

The so-called AI Bar, developed by British data science firm DataSparQ, organises customers into a "virtual" queue to manage crowds, which will put a stop to those who try to cut in line.

Not only that, the airport security-style system will also help people get served more quickly by advising fresher-faced patrons who look underage to get their ID ready, and let staff know if they have already been checked.

The £199-per-month kit only needs a standard webcam, a screen and an internet connection to work, and has enjoyed a successful trial at 5cc Harrild & Sons cocktail bar in Farringdon, London.

DataSparQ is hoping for a bigger roll-out to other venues in the coming months, with additional features like the ability for customers to re-order their drinks while still in the queue already being developed.

Once implemented, it is intended that the tech will be able to memorise orders and react to simple hand signals if there are any changes.

John Wyllie, managing director of DataSparQ, said: "Queuing is a part of British life that we all have to endure - but we wanted to do something to improve the experience.

"It's the uncertainty of waiting times alongside queue jumpers that's adversely affecting consumer behaviours in bars and pubs. The AI Bar ensures it's a hassle free, first come, first served system that makes ordering drinks more convenient for both drinkers and bar staff alike.

"We are in talks with drinks companies and pub chain owners to roll out the technology nationwide in the next 12 months. The system can be installed anywhere and is scaleable - so we are expecting it to start in bars and progress into music festivals and beyond."