Introducing the Intelligent Cheese Counter, a new retail innovation that lets you buy cheese from an in-store seller, just by pointing at it through the display glass.
No this isn’t a joke, and we’re a couple of months early for April Fools’ Day yet. This is a new in-store retail concept from the German Innovative Retail Laboratory, part of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.
Designed to make the cheese buying process a little easier (an admittedly daunting task for cheese amateurs) it negates the slightly embarrassing problem of being unable to pronounce the name of a cheese, not knowing how it my taste, and what other foods or drinks it would go well with.
Using a 3D mounted camera just above the counter, the user simply points at their desired cheese, with the camera hooked up to a computer system that can pinpoint the direction of their finger within an accuracy range of two centimetres. Using two screens (one for the store clerk and one for the customer) the seller can then easily identify which cheese the customer is inquiring about, while the customer is shown a list of details about the cheese in question.
“It’s a common problem. That soft, golden-yellow stuff at the back of the cheese counter looks so delicious and inviting, but you’re too scared to order some because you don’t know its name. And even if you do, you may not know how to pronounce it correctly. All you can do is point and hope for the best,” reads the CeBit tradeshow listing.
“The intelligent cheese counter recognizes what product the customer is pointing at and displays it on screen for the customer and sales staff to see. It even provides additional information, such as the origin of the cheese or wines that go well with it.”
Due to be revealed at this year’s CeBit conference, there are no images available at the time of writing, but we envision a Minority Report-style future crammed full of these things. Preferably with some sort of virtual smell-masking app built in too.
For more info, check out the Innovative Retail Laboratory website.