Apr 03 2012

Future of Retail: Grocery Scanning Without Barcodes?

Toshiba shows off its object recognition scanner in Japan.

After nearly 40 years of use in retail, is it time to move on from the faithful barcode scanner?

Springwise reports that Toshiba is developing technology that could do away with the familiar black and white bars on retail items by instead recognizing the objects through a video camera. The new scanners use pattern-recognition technology to correctly identify that the item being scanned is actually a banana instead of, say, a pear.

This has the potential to increase efficiencies in grocery stores, where produce often goes without barcodes. This increases checkout time by requiring cashiers to look up the produce items by number.

Watch the Toshiba object recognition scanner in action:

What with completely automated checkout in retail and now the promise of barcodeless scanning, the way we shop is getting a tech makeover.

For more on Toshiba’s barcodeless scanner, read the full story at Springwise. And for more great content from around the web, check out the 50 Must-Read IT Blogs from BizTech.


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