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Amazon Go: RFID Wins, Google Loses

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realjjj
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Re: Finally - It's about time
realjjj   12/8/2016 12:36:45 PM
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Sorry if i was a bit blunt by calling it a lazy solution ,was "attacking" the idea not you.

Anyway, maybe there are good uses but assuming that there are good uses is also one of the bigger sins of the industry. Creating a solution and then hoping that someone comes up with a problem it's something we see too often. From NFC to Apple's Watch, folks create something and then, since they can't come up with anything good themselves, hope that others will. Great products should be more compelling that that.

 

 

spike_johan
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Re: Finally - It's about time
spike_johan   12/7/2016 8:02:43 PM
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@elizabethsimon

Thank you. I enjoyed your thoughtful and objective reply.

elizabethsimon
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Re: Finally - It's about time
elizabethsimon   12/7/2016 7:34:14 PM
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@spike_johan

I'm not an expert in RFID either, although I looked into it once a few years back. If I remember correctly, the reader sends out an RF signal and the tag(s) respond on the same frequency. The problem I see is that if you have multiple tags responding at the same time on the same frequency, you're likely to have enough interference that none of them will be properly decoded. In the best case, the reader will generate an error. In the worst case, it will intrepret the mishmash as a valid ID...

Like I said its been a few years since I looked at this so it's possible there's been a solution to the RF interference problem. And you are right, if the tags can all be correctly read, separating them out is relatively easy.

Don Herres
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Privacy has never been their concern
Don Herres   12/7/2016 6:48:00 PM
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Nobody is mentioning the privacy aspect.  RFID tags can be scanned by anyone.  One of the problems with the WalMart proposal was that the buyer would have RFID tags on their clothing, personal items, whatever and they would be subject to virtual lurking.

spike_johan
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Re: Finally - It's about time
spike_johan   12/7/2016 6:42:04 PM
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@realjjj

I merely proposed a strawman. I am sure there are multiple solutions out there that will make the implementation of RFID (or similar radio tag technology) both useful and applicable in the retail space of the IoT.

spike_johan
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Re: Finally - It's about time
spike_johan   12/7/2016 6:24:08 PM
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@elizabethsimon

I don't know if the problem you speak of has been solved or if it is really, for that matter, a true problem.

I am far from an expert in RFID technology but I believe that because each and every RFID tag has a unique ID then separating individual tags - out of a shopping cart containing multiple tags - should be a logistical problem at best.

elizabethsimon
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Re: Finally - It's about time
elizabethsimon   12/7/2016 6:09:26 PM
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@spike_johan ... Like revolving doors, one person  - one at a time - with their products checkout (i.e. get their products RFID tags read and processed). ...

One possible problem with the RFID approach is that an RFID reader may have trouble separating several items. Since RFID tags are passive and only activate in response to a signal from a reader, I'd think you would run into problems reading multiple tags at once. Or has this problem been solved?

The  applications that I'm familiar with for RFID are all designed to read one at a time.

 

realjjj
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Re: Finally - It's about time
realjjj   12/7/2016 5:51:01 PM
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Considered that but it's a lazy solution, to create a choke point at the door and it's less convenient and very costly. It also doesn't justify the 4 years of work and the need to use computer vision and deep learning - they would only need facial recognition when the user identifies and at the exit.

The buyer could also remove, spoof or replace the tag or could slide the items through the door to an accomplice and wait for another customer to exit first.To counter that, you need humans in front of monitors and no blind spots or an even smarter system.

The video does mention that the system knows when you pick up something so the customer-product pairing must be done there. The shelves could have RFID readers but they would need cams to identify the customer anyway and it should be easier to use computer vision to identify the product too as it's a fairly small store at 1800 sq feet and recognizing hundreds or even thousands of products shouldn't be such a difficult task.

 

 

spike_johan
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Re: Finally - It's about time
spike_johan   12/7/2016 4:58:01 PM
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@realjjj

I don't see the checkout problem as being as complicated as you suggest.

Like revolving doors, one person  - one at a time - with their products checkout (i.e. get their products RFID tags read and processed).

That binds one shopper to one set of products.

The shopper could then verify what he thought he purchased (and at what price)  against the eReceipt sent to his phone before exiting the store.

realjjj
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Re: Finally - It's about time
realjjj   12/7/2016 3:12:40 PM
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Think about it this way,how would RFID help?

If there is no checkout, the customer enters, identifies with the app, takes the product and leaves. If you had RFID, then what? You can have 10 customers leaving the store at the same time ,can you even rely on RFID to pair the products to each customer in every possible scenario? It seems more viable to track in 3D everything ,you identify the customer then track and see when the customer picks something up or puts it back down. They do say that they use technology similar to self driving cars , that would be the object tracking.

I do wonder how they might deal with kids for example.The mom would identify herself but you can't expect the kids to have to do the same and then the system needs to figure out who owns those kids, a rather difficult task.

They also add a problem, the check-in and they should try to get rid of that, maybe at least for repeat customers with facial recognition. They should also consider watches as a way to identify, it's a lot more convenient.

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