Jul 032012

It’s mobile, informative, and smart.

Have you ever found yourself in the supermarket staring at a shelf full of different cereal boxes, wishing someone could just point out the one with the best price, lowest sugar content, and the best reviews? New solutions for smarter retail will soon give customers the same type of information they get online when researching or comparing products – delivered inside the store as they shop.

A new augmented reality mobile shopping app being developed by researcher scientists at IBM’s lab in Haifa, Israel, is about to change the way we shop in stores. When shoppers use their smart phone or tablet video camera to pan over products on the shelf, the application will instantly display recommendations and offers based on their specific preferences.

“We’re going way beyond simple facial recognition for products to provide superimposed information that points out the products shopper prefer – whether based on previous purchases, price, consumer rating, sodium content, environmentally friendly packaging, or other considerations,” said Amnon Ribak, project leader for the augmented shopping advisor.

For example, a shopper looking for a high-quality facial moisturizer can specify important characteristics of the product, such as having a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, is hypoallergenic, was not tested on animals, and that is on sale.

As the shopper points a smart device camera at the shelf of moisturizers in the pharmacy, the app recognizes the merchandise and displays information on the device’s screen, superimposed on the product images. It also highlights information based on the shopper’s stated preferences, and can offer coupons or special discounts that may apply.

Read more . . .

via IBM Research

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