As impressive and efficient as mobile payment systems based on QR or bar code scanning can be, the emerging technology of object recognition holds even more promise.
Object recognition (OR, also known as “image recognition”) harnesses the advanced sensors and processing power of modern smartphones and other mobile devices to give applications the ability to recognize specific objects viewed by the device.
Coupled with a payment system, OR represents the “holy grail” of m-commerce, allowing shoppers to simply point their smartphones at an item and then purchase it or a related service immediately.
For example, a person riding the metro might see someone carrying a handbag and be able to not only identify what kind of bag it is, but to see several offers from retailers for the bag – and then to buy it before reaching the next metro station. This person could also use OR to pay for their metro ride by pointing their smartphone at a metro station turnstyle, allowing them entry without pausing to scan an optical code or allow a machine to read a chip in their phone or wallet.
Cellum Steps In The Frame
Earlier this month leading mobile payments solutions developer Cellum announced that it is progressing on a project to fuse optical recognition technologies with the latest in secure payment standards, in an experimental project co-financed by the European Union.
According to Cellum Director of Strategy Balázs Inotay, Cellum is focusing on both the formidable challenges of OR itself as well as how it can be applied in the commercial context. This means not only empowering consumers to “point and buy” but to integrate loyalty programs and other features into the OR experience.
“Though there is still a long road ahead, our aim is clearly to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by smartphones,” Inotay says.