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Online & DigitalTechnology

New tool developed to match catalogue items with those in a warehouse

Microsoft has developed a new tool aimed at the retail industry, to identify items by rough images and match them with those in a catalogue.

The ‘Image Segmentation Tool’ will allow companies to manage the large collections of images held by the retailers.

Inventory management is a growing challenge in the thriving online retail industry, as legacy technology means the process can been slow, expensive and error-prone.

Microsoft developers said they were working with a “successful international online fashion retailer” earlier this year to test the technology.

The developers added: “Our aim was to work with this retailer to design an algorithm capable of identifying whether a newly arrived item was in stock using only a mobile phone image of the new item as a reference.

“If the retailer’s staff could snap a photo of a new arrival and use our solution to search their catalog of studio images for matches, we could eliminate the cost of errors and wasted time.”

The new technology comes at a time when online retail is peaking, with sales growing by 18%.

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