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Shopping gloves

Optical glove: recognizing products on supermarket shelves

Patrick Mansell/Penn State UniversityOptical glove: recognizing products on supermarket shelvesPatrick Mansell/Penn State University

A glove equipped with a microcamera called the Third-Eye-IV could mean more independence for the visually impaired when they go grocery shopping. When it recognizes a product that the user wants in the supermarket, the glove vibrates and guides the user’s hand towards the item.  The latest version of a prototype developed at Pennsylvania State University, in the United States, was able to recognize 87 products displayed on shelves.  The glove is just one of the results obtained by a project intended to design wearables that can interpret a complex scene in a manner similar to what the human brain does.  The vision system can also recognize an object as new and then store the information in its memory.  The goal is to create a mechanism that can read labels and interpret logotypes and images.  Experts in neuroscience and other fields are participating in the work, which has received $10 million in funding from the National Science Foundation.