This Is the Future of Shopping

When you go to the store, how often do you pick things up off the shelf, examine them and then put them back? Some items make it into the cart, others do not. Thanks to the check-out counter, retailers know when something’s been bought, but not much about what made you stop and choose it in the first place. Now, 3D sensing technology may offer an unlikely, yet powerful, solution.
In a small suite adjacent to the massive CES 2013 convention hall, Primesense and partner Shopperperception showed me a rather remarkable technology that uses the former’s 3D sensing technology, and an iPad-based analytics app to give retailers an aggregated view of what shoppers are doing at store shelves.
Primesense, which unveiled its tiny Capri 3D sensor at the show, also provides the 3D sensing technology for Microsoft’s Kinect for the Xbox 360. Its low-cost, tiny motherboards bathe the area in front of it in an infrared 3D mesh that a second camera interprets. It’s how interactive games know not only where multiple people are in a room, but also exactly what each of them is doing. It’s obviously super useful for virtual dancing and driving, but as Primsense demonstrated to me, the open platform can do far more than just play games.

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