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Monday, May 12, 2014

Shopping Image Recognition by Amazon: Flow

Have spent some time on the process of shopping using in-aisle using scanning methods.  Finally got a chance to look at this method more closely using an IOS installed Amazon App: Flow.  The approach, a little mysteriously, is called Flow.  I imagine implying how it could improve the flow of the in-store shopping experience.  Here is Amazon's description.  The camera is used as a means of reading symbol codes and images.   See my previous notes on this.

I am working with a used book selling operation, and its useful to be able to quickly scan and recognize inventory.  Some time ago the process moved to scanning book barcodes and getting meta information from the Amazon database.

This test went against a number of books, variously oriented, without searching for a barcode first.   The system works quite well, faster than a barcode read.  Reading from the spine side of a book was only sometimes successful.

Overall well done, can improve interaction in store and warehouse.  Woould be better yet if it could read spine directed books.   We were also able to identify several items in a single view,  but that is not currently an operational need.

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