Could this Replace the Barcode?

Could a Japanese bakery have found an alternative to barcode scanning? Donq, a popular chain of bakeries in Japan, needed a solution to ring up their high-end pastries and breads at the POS. They have over a hundred different varieties of baked goods, so its not always easy to train clerks to memorize all of the names and prices.

One of Donq’s Tokyo locations recently implemented a system that uses a smart cash register that can identify baked goods by sight, rather than depending on a cashier or barcode.

Customers didn’t like their high-end baked goods wrapped in cellophane and barcoded—they wanted their baked goods to look fresh and authentic. Without any sort of wrapper or packaging, there is no way to barcode the baked goods.
After years of development, BakeryScan was created. Essentially, a camera sits atop a backlit counter and software compares images of each baked good to pictures of goods in the database. It can even identify a baked good that may be slightly over or under done, affecting the color variation. Once a match is made, the price is displayed. The success rate of BakeryScan is 98 percent.

While BakeryScan is staying in the bakery for now, researchers behind the technology are interested in having their technology used in other industries, such as produce and medicine. They may even be scheming to replace the barcode all together!

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