Mobile shopping based on a printed catalogue

By September 26, 2011
Keywords : Future of Retail, Europe

With the help of pixlinQ you can snap a photo of an outfit in a catalogue or advertisement with your phone, which will then track down the clothes of your choice on the company website and enable you to make your purchase online.

Q: How can you make a connection between goods advertised in a catalogue and internet shopping? A: By using image recognition. LTU Technologies has developed pixlinQ, a module that enables you to integrate image recognition functions into any mobile application. So when you take a photo, the software identifies shapes and shades of colour and then, by tapping into a specific database, helps you to find the article you want in a brand catalogue. There are numerous possibilities.  All you have to do is take a photo of a page - in the La Redoute printed catalogue for instance -  using a dedicated app running with pixlinQ, and you’ll be automatically directed to the item you’re interested in on the vendor’s website and so able to place your order directly online.

An advance in the approach to online shopping…

"What we wanted to do was establish a link between the real and virtual, between physical and digital media," Gaël Ricard, Sales Engineering Manager at LTU, told L'Atelier on the sidelines of the Ad Tech Fair in London, adding: "Eventually, we hope to have enough partners so that a simple photo enables you to access a range of products like the one you’ve seen and indicate where you can buy it.". Other apps running with pixlinQ are also available – such as Codaly, which lets you tap into information on a type of wine, plus notes and the location of points of sale, all by snapping the label on a bottle.  The system can also be used in the cultural/entertainment field and in collaborative working. 

…But more than just that

"A number of museums and art galleries are now offering services based on our technology. So you won’t find any information situated around the actual artworks, but you can take a snap with your smartphone and so obtain all the information on the work and the artist on the mobile," explains Gaël Ricard. "Similarly, we have conclusive feedback from beta tests on recognition of posters or video".  These tests have proved that when you take a photo of a film poster or ad banner you can bring up on your mobile the cast list, trailers, and even the nearest cinema showing the film at that moment. pixlinQ might also take on a social function,  thanks to an app developed by LTU: Lookthatup lets you take a photo of whatever you like and then tap into a database in which you can add your own description or be redirected to relevant links where you can find useful explanations.  The number of images and objects that can be recognised is increasing day by day as more and more smartphone users add content.

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