Fraunhofer technology turns window shoppers into buyers

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (FIT) in Germany are developing an interactive shop window display that could use near field communication technology to allow shoppers to buy goods straight from the screen.

The Berlin-based team wants to allow passers-by to manipulate displays in shop windows using hand and facial gestures. Four cameras record the 3D positions of people’s hands, face and eyes and transform them into commands for selecting and buying goods.

Shop owners can link the system with any software they already have, such as a content management or merchandise information system, enabling them to show all their stock on the display. The way the payment process is taken care of is also left up to the shop owner, and it is here that NFC could play a role.

The system is made possible by a new type of 3D camera system developed by the Institute. Paul Chojecki, a scientist at FIT, said: “Interactive shopping has been standard operating procedure in the web for a long time. Now, we’re putting this technology into pedestrian passageways and shopping centres with the entire unit behind the window.”

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