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Today's Shoplifting = Tomorrow's Shopping ?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Today we call it Shoplifting - tomorrow it'll be just called Shopping ! A lot of people have already envisioned what the future would be like based on the current trends in technology. Here, is what shopping could be like in the very-near-future: Person goes to a shop in a mall and takes the stuff off the rack that he wants (to buy). He walks out of the shop taking the items with him, not checking in at the counter because there is no counter ! Its the future payment system that we're looking at. Sensors in the shop detect who you are and what what you've taken from the shop. The advanced computerised system will then use this information to track down the person's bank account details and debit the amount from his or her account. This concept may sound too simple to narrate but we all know this is no joke to implement. The level of sophistication for a system this complex can only be semi-dreamed of today but implausible till the next decade or so. Obviously, this and many other 'next-gen' ideas will work once motion detectors become more detectable. With the advent of image recognition techniques - Google's Neven Vision, Riya's Visual Search, Microsoft's Photosynth and many others, the next gigantic project would be to detect 3D objects in motion in real-time. Even though researchers are onto this for quite some time now and probably in most companies' R&D centers, it'll be a while before coorporates start getting them into their organization for their commercial use. Business Week has already captioned their news item How Google's Neven Vision could track our lives. So I guess this is something people of the next generation would expect as a result of new technology trends.