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IBM's Augmented Reality Shopper

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

March 15, 2013

IBM's Augmented Reality Shopper

By Ashley Caputo
TMCnet Web Editor

Thanks to increased mobility usage, even more users are shopping online for their wardrobe, home furnishing and now, groceries, thanks to apps like Instacart. With this trend in play, IBM (News - Alert) has also added its own twist on grocery shopping with its new app, Augmented Shopping, which serves as an in-store shopper’s assistant.

A new augmented reality (AR) app is being developed in IBM Research’s lab in Israel, which allows users to use its advanced image recognition technology to retrieve the information about the items they requested. The Augmented Shopping Assistant analyzes the products in a section or aisle and ranks them by calorie content or price, saving the shoppers the time they once spent analyzing each label.

Just like the Instacart mobile app that allows users to purchase groceries and have them delivered in less than three hours, the Augmented Shopping Assistant has the ability to track what items are on sale and offer instant discount coupons. According to the IBM research project manager, Amnon Ribak, the Augmented Shopping Assistant aims to bridge the gap that exists today between the average shopper in the store and the wealth of product information available online.

This type of advanced technology resembles ones that have been developed in the robotics sector, like the the da Vinci Si, a robotic system that serves as a doctor’s assistant and provides advanced 3D HD visualization with up to 10x magnification and immerse views of the operative field. This change in the medical field fosters the beginning of an era where those undergoing surgeries are put at lesser health risks. Although the weight of the new recognition shopping technology is not as heavy as those in the robotics field that, it just goes to show users how advanced the mobile industry is becoming.

Only a few years ago, apps were being developed for mobile phones, which is when most people began to use these devices for social media. Now, in the shopping sector there are apps that retailers can use to track customers footprint around the store in order to figure out their favorite types of products, created by a company called Sprooki and YFind. Or even Yowza!!, a mobile app that gives users access to retail GPS coupons .

With each new app development in the mobile commerce world, users are beginning to garner all the tools they need to shop faster and cost-effectively, which is what everyone needs during a time where our country is recovering from such an economic depression. But what is even more noteworthy is how quickly technology is moving forward, when we compare to a timeline from a decade ago, and it makes us wonder what this advance image technology will be used for next.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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