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IBM creates digital marketing tool for visually impaired


Armonk, N.Y. - IBM’s research team in Brazil has created a new way for marketers to engage shoppers who cannot visually identify objects. The team created an image recognition technology which uses “identifying markers” placed around a display to recognize products between each marker by simply taking a picture.

Unlike a QR code, which displays an error message if the image is not taken correctly, the IBM solution will prompt the customer to retake the picture and will provide verbal instructions on how to effectively capture the image.

For example, on a vending machine, markers can be placed on the four corners of the machine, allowing a visually impaired customer to take a picture of the machine and then receive an audio playback of the item associated with each number on the keypad. In turn, the customer can then identify and purchase the item he/she would like, without having to actually see the item.

With this IBM technology, not only can visually impaired customers benefit from the ability to more easily identify products, but marketers can utilize these techniques to optimize displays for all customers who enter their store.

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