In the same way that Street View catapulted the engagement power of Google Maps, it seems like a few fans of Facebook have found an interesting tool that could make the “check in” a lot more valuable. The tool is called “Facedeals”, a camera that is placed at the entrance of participating locations that uses facial recognition to identify patrons who walk in. You need to opt-in to Facedeals on Facebook, and then whenever you enter a participating location the camera will identify you and ping you any deals that are available at that specific location.
The initiative is a service that could be incredibly powerful for local retail and service businesses who rely on repeat business. As social sites try to utilize their mountain of data to truly add value to the lives of their users while also unlocking new revenue streams, this service could be exciting. Not only can this service offer up deals that are relevant to you based on your likes and online interest history, it can be very timely in the delivery of those deals (eg. you happened to break up with someone so it gives you a drink on the house). Moreover, Facedeals could also provide data to demonstrate deal redemption and repeat business rate (via the automatic check-in). As such, local businesses would most likely gladly offer up a monthly fee if it translates to increased business per visit and repeat business.
I also think that this service could be a great partner for the likes of Groupon. If they merge their deals with customer identification at the point of purchase, the value of their service could be increased as well as the coupon redemption rate. Have a look at the video and let me know what you think.