Consumers usually encounter the problem of miscommunication between them and the sellers. Especially when it involves pointing at objects inside a glass cover, grocers do not usually see the item being discussed. These little nuances in a person’s shopping experience  can now be resolved thanks to the Kinect. Developers Markus Löchtefeld,Sven Gehring, Johannes Schöning, Florian Daiber and Antonio Krüger created this simple yet useful application with the Kinect that helps resolve the item pointing issues experienced by most buyers. In this video, the Kinect detects the consumer’s pointed hand relative to the glass case and the product. It then sends the data to a computer and displays the item to the consumer and to the grocer, providing information and minimizing errors and the hassle. This Point Gesture Tracking technology aims to reduce the amount of stress and time wasted inside the grocery.

Here is a description of the project taken from the developers’ Youtube page:

“Meat and cheese counters are among the most important spots in a supermarket where employees interact with customers. Interactions at these counters in supermarkets normally follow a simple protocol. The customer points at an item of choice. The employee takes out the item and, in most of the cases; the product needs to be cut to fit the amount the customer wants to buy. Currently a lot of communication problems happen at these counters due to the distance between the customer and the service staff and the separation by the counter. Often it is ambiguous about what product the customer and the employees are talking about. Up to now, there are just a few efforts in HCI research, to enrich communication at the point of sale. In this paper we report and analyze the interactions and communications at a meat counter and introduce a prototype to ease the communication between customer and employees to higher customer satisfaction and decrease service times. Therefore a depth camera provides information about the products the customers are pointing at and a scale is used as an information display.”

For more information about this great program, visit the Innovative Retail Laboratory Website.

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