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Retail Technology: Computer vision

vallarta supermarkets robot
Vallarta Supermarkets tests Badger Technologies multipurpose autonomous robot, named Pepe, to help keep floors clean and shelves fully stocked with correctly priced and placed products (Photo: Business Wire)

Computer vision is the technology behind many of the innovative solutions available to grocers today.

A type of artificial intelligence, the technology takes information from digital images and videos, analyzes it based on algorithms fed into a model, and instantaneously makes recommendations based on that information.

Better yet, it continues to learn and improve its decision-making.

Cameras enabled with computer vision not only monitor shelf stock and inventory control but can capture shopper demographics and analyze consumer behavior when interacting with a product or information about it.

They can also alert staff to suspicious activity and spills. The technology can even be used to monitor the freshness of fruits and vegetables on display in the store’s produce section.

Apeel Sciences says its imaging technology, when processed through machine learning models, can identify freshness, maturity, phytonutrient content, and other aspects of fruit quality and that it could ultimately make “freshness and nutritional content ‘visible’ to the consumer.”

Further, computer vision is what makes cashierless transactions with smart carts and technology like Amazon’s Just Walk Out service possible.

This is an excerpt from the Applied Technology feature in the July/August 2022 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole issue.