[FoRK] Surveillance as quality control

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Mon Dec 2 12:41:12 PST 2013

Received an order from ifixit.com with a couple of items missing.  Customer
service should take care of this without any problems; what was interesting
was that the service rep "reviewed the video of my order being packed" to
see that they were, in fact, not sent.

This is after the fact so it's not properly quality control, but it is a
natural consequence of cheap video recording, retrieval.  and storage. Old
days, the recording and storage were relatively cheap if you gave up high
resolution and worked with video tape, but the mechanics of retrieving a
particular segment were time-consuming, and as a result, too expensive.  I
do not know whether ifixit's system is fully indexed by order #, but that's
certainly a logical way to do it.

You could go further with object recognition or other vision technologies
(QR codes on the parts would be fairly cheap).  It might not need to be too
obtrusive: parts picker has a basket and a pick list.  Basket is relatively
shallow and bar/2D codes are designed for top-reading so that you just pass
the basket under a camera before packing the parts so the system can
cross-check the items against the packing list  Even if the parts were
picked by a 'bot., the vision system would be a useful final check.

Apparently, there are even  license plate recognition systems in use at
many fast food drive through lanes to minimize issues when there are
multiple lanes feeding into a single pay and pickup lane.  Wonder if
McDonald's will start recording customer order packing -- no more "You
forgot my fries" -- as well?

Ken Meltsner

After 30+ years of email, I have used up my supply of clever ,sig material.

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