Chris Nerney of Data Informed has reported on a new “augmented reality” app coming out of IBM. He writes, “Imagine being able to point your smartphone’s video camera at a store shelf and instantly get personalized, detailed information about the products on your device’s display screen. In a few months, some shoppers no longer will have to imagine this marriage of the Internet, data analytics, mobile technology and the physical spaces of a shopping aisle. IBM researchers at the company’s lab in Haifa, Israel, are developing an “augmented reality” mobile shopping application that should be offered by some supermarket chains to customers before the end of the year.”

Nerney goes on, “Customers will download an app after entering a store and use their smartphones or tablets to create a profile that details their product preferences. In a supermarket, that could mean dairy- and gluten-free foods, low-sodium products, low-calorie beverages or items on sale. The app is configured to work with the store’s inventory system fed by other sources, such as nutritional data from consumer packaged goods companies.”

He continues, “When a shopper pans store shelves with the camera of their mobile smart device, the app recognizes the products through image-processing technology and displays relevant information based on preferences input by the customer, as well as other data such as purchasing history. The information then is superimposed over the products on the device’s screen using augmented reality technology. The app can offer personalized coupons or inform the customer of applicable discounts. The system relies on optical character recognition, image shapes and colors and the shelf positioning of goods, rather than bar codes or RFID tags.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy IBM