March 9, 2012
New Toshiba supermarket scanner identifies objects by appearance, does away with barcodes
If you were to recall one of the most annoying experiences at a grocery store, most would speak of an incident where the assistant couldn’t an item’s bar code to scan. We then have no choice but to wait in awkward silence while they buzz around, waving the item back and forth so much that you are quite close to the idea of dropping that item from your list. Engineers at Toshiba have come up supermarket scanner that does away with the need of barcodes. Hailed as Object Recognition Scanner (ORS), the device can recognize items by appearance and works by utilizing pattern and color recognition technology being developed by the company.
The makers explained that this special scanner can recognize any supermarket items and will prove quite handy when it comes to fruits and vegetables because those don’t have bar codes and they’re put out while they’re fresh. Also if the staff is new, they may not recognize some items which could lead to further delays. Toshiba says that this technology is so advanced that it goes well beyond simply telling the difference between an apple and an orange. Toshiba’s Object Recognition Scanner can actually recognize to which sub-genre the fruit belongs to like Red Delicious from your Pacific Rose, and Cortland from your Wealthy. For now the company is working on creating a database of typical supermarket items and we don’t how soon we’ll get to witness this in a nearby grocery store.