IBM Launches Augmented Reality Shopping Assistant at CeBIT
The new IBM application uses image recognition technology to find products, provide information and pricing using augmented reality and cloud-based data.HANNOVER, Germany—A new smartphone app that provides detailed information about products on store shelves just by taking a look at the packages is about to hit store shelves, first in the UK and then in the U.S. within the next few weeks. According to project manager Amnon Ribak from IBM Research in Haifa, Israel, the new app will initially be sold to retail stores for use as a part of their customer loyalty programs. The new app, which IBM is calling the Augmented Reality Shopping Assistant, works when a store customer scans the shelves in a retail store with their smartphone. The app then recognizes the packaging, finds each product in a cloud database, and presents a tag on the screen of the smartphone with basic information on each product showing on the phone’s screen. The shopper can tap a tag and get more detailed information, including nutritional information or pricing of the same product in other sizes. The product works by actually recognizing the package. There’s no need to scan a bar code on the box. The app can also integrate with social networks to see user reviews of the product or locate more detailed information.