IBM delivers augmented reality to shopping aisles


Are you one who absolutely loves shopping, especially when it comes to purchasing groceries at the local supermarket? Well, if you are a seasoned shopper, you would virtually be able to navigate through the labyrinth of aisles with your eyes closed, grabbing those weekly items as though it were second nature to you. What happens when you are new to a particular town, and there are less than helpful retail assistants? This is where the wonders of technology comes in, and IBM intends to help by offering an augmented reality solution to shopping aisles.

IBM’s Fiona Doherty recently demonstrated how an augmented reality shopping app is able to fill this particular niche, where it will automatically deliver personalized coupons, offers, customer reviews and hidden product details

You cannot deny the fact that going to a physical store still has this nostalgic feel to the shopping experience, and to be able to see, touch and feel (sometimes even taste!) a particular product before purchase is all part of the thrill. Since many of us already carry our advanced mobile devices wherever we go, it makes perfect sense for IBM to enter into this market, making life easier for shoppers to retrieve product details instantly and deals in-store at the blink of an eye thanks to a new augmented reality (AR) shopping app.

The app will not rely on barcodes or RFID tags in order to recognize products, although it will need a working camera on your mobile device as it compares a captured image with those in its database. If the product packaging matches according to the image processing algorithm that works in tandem with techniques used in facial recognition, color and shape matching, it will automatically overlay digital details of the product on the image.

Some of these details can include nutritional information, price, reviews and discounts on offer at that particular point in time. You also have the choice to opt into a social networking feature which will then deliver comments or reviews from friends and family concerning a particular product that has been added to the information shown.

Doesn’t this make it more important to make sure you have a fully juiced up smartphone before you go shopping?


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