[FoRK] Surveillance as quality control

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Dec 3 15:30:58 PST 2013

On 12/2/13, 12:41 PM, Ken Meltsner wrote:
> 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.

Retail systems have traditionally had an available serial port streaming 
transaction data.  Good video surveillance DVR systems will take a 
serial stream per camera that is recorded and indexed along with the 
video.  I've owned surveillance DVR systems that had that capability, 
although I never got around to recognizing visitors and activities to 
properly index the video.  Not that I didn't consider it.  ;-)  A weight 
measuring welcome mat might be particularly effective and accurate at 
discriminating family members and a few friends.  Height likewise.  
Nowadays, face recognition and voice prints, plus cell phone 
bluetooth/wifi signatures, if not geo-fencing location dongles.  Have a 
few of those from UplinQ 2013 that I should be playing with.

> 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

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