During our hurried supermarket sweeps, we're aiming for the Granny Smith, yet somehow always come away with French Jonagold. That's why we're in awe of this new supermarket scanner from Toshiba-Tech that can identify individual species of fruit and veg from sight. Rather than a cashier keying in a produce code, a camera with optical pattern recognition technology filters out "visual noise" before identifying the genus of your apple by shape, surface pattern and coloration. It's also able to scan labels and coupons, but so far the database only contains a handful of items. It'll take over a year (when each thing has been harvested and scanned) to build a database necessary to make it commercially useful. Still, if you can't bear to wait those precious seconds as your server finds the right code for lettuce, head on past the break to watch your future in action.


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Toshiba builds scanner that can identify fruit without a barcode, yup (video)