ZHUHAI, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–RELX Technology, Asia’s leading e-cigarette brand, today announced the launch of Project Sunflower, the first of-of-its-kind minor prevention system for tobacco products sold in retail stores. The project is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to prevent minors from obtaining and using RELX products.
In line with RELX’s continuous drive to harness advanced technology in its operations, Project Sunflower consists of adopting ID and facial recognition technologies to ensure that only adults are able to purchase products in its China stores. Minors are not allowed to enter RELX stores, and new in-store face-scanning cameras will send alerts to RELX store staff if a suspected minor enters the store. Any suspected minor that is not able to present legal, valid identification that proves they are an adult will be asked to leave the RELX store.
RELX customers that choose to purchase any product in a RELX store will also need to verify their age through a facial recognition process that matches the customer’s face with the photo on the customer’s Resident Identity Card. This process is to ensure that the person in the store is using their own valid identification and not attempting to impersonate an adult.
RELX also announced the launch of RELX smart vending machines that will sell the company’s products. The vending machines will verify the customer is an adult by utilizing the same facial recognition technology that will be used in official RELX stores.
RELX plans to install Project Sunflower cameras and facial recognition systems in over 100 shops in the next three months and aims to expand the system to cover all RELX Stores in China by July 2020.
As China’s leading e-cigarette brand that has attained over 60 percent market share in China, RELX aims to continue to lead industry standards that protect minors from vapor products. Project Sunflower is RELX’s latest step in upgrading the RELX Guardian Program, a company-wide initiative that stretches from product development to marketing and sales, aimed at preventing and discouraging the use of vapor products by minors.
“We are committed to ensuring that our products do not end up in the hands of minors. Project Sunflower is testament to our commitment to utilizing the latest advancements in technology to strengthen the prevention of minors from accessing our vapor products, ”Said Kate Wang, CEO of RELX.
RELX is currently developing a tracking system that connects customers, product bar codes and shop locations. Once the system is complete, RELX will be able to trace a product to its point of sale if a minor is found to be in possession of a RELX product.