SKU Vision™: Parts Recognition Vision System

[Why Sku'd Vision™?]

The clerk of 50 years ago would have to recognize an inventory of one or two thousand objects, and the importance of identification was just coming to be appreciated. Notably, the barcode as we know it today was just being envisioned then. Such a clerk here might encounter iron, steel, galvanized steel, aluminum and brass screws of the same size. Distinguishing among them, charging accordingly for them, and procuring re-supply of them was problematical but manageable, with appropriate training.

The clerk of today has a formidable task. They are expected to recognize objects from inventories often numbering into the tens of thousands, and to then be able to also accurately supply a computer recognizable identifier, such as a SKU number, for each of these objects. The clerk here may, on a daily basis, handle screws that are exactly the same except that they are made of ten different materials. The task here is impossible with out the clerk having some form of assistance and, as has been described elsewhere herein, the assistance that has until now been available is often not adequate or economical for the task.

Now consider the task of a typical retail counter or stock room clerk using the present invention. In the traditional sense the clerk does not have to recognize an object at all. For instance, they do not have to be look at the working end of a screwdriver and recognize that the particular screwdriver is of the type known to every virtually clerk of 50 years ago as a Phillips head screwdriver. A clerk using the invention simply has to pick, possibly even using a touch screen, an image resembling the screwdriver before them. Thus, in a commercial context, the clerk's employer does not have to worry about training the clerk, a larger set of potential clerks become hirable, automated inventory management schemes become more trustworthy, goods are not sold at incorrect prices, customers do not suffer the aggravation of unduly prolonged transactions, and the invention provides benefit which the prior art heretofore has not proven able to provide.

For the above, and other, reasons, it is expected that the present invention will have widespread industrial applicability. Therefore, it is expected that the commercial utility of the present invention will be extensive and long lasting.


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