Beyond labels: Unilever trials on-pack AQR codes for AI-assisted cooking

Beyond labels: Unilever trials on-pack AQR codes for AI-assisted cooking

Technology

Unilever has joined forces with Be My Eyes, an accessibility app specialist, to enhance the cooking experience for individuals who are blind or have low vision.

Leveraging Be My Eyes' AI technology, Unilever integrates powerful tools into its products, initially piloting this initiative with Colman’s Singapore Noodles Meal Maker in the UK. Shoppers can scan the on-pack Accessible QR (AQR) code, connecting them to the Be My Eyes app. Through the app, users can access volunteer assistance for reading and describing cooking instructions or connect with a Chat GPT-4 AI bot for recipe inquiries.

This groundbreaking partnership extends Unilever's commitment to its global connected pack strategy, incorporating digital experiences to transform the way consumers interact with its products. The Be My Eyes AI technology, a first for a food product, offers an AI-assisted cooking experience at home. Unilever collaborates with Be My Eyes to train volunteers, provide specific product information to the AI bot, and integrate its customer support team into the app for additional assistance.

The AQR codes aim to facilitate accessibility for blind consumers, allowing them to obtain product information such as usage directions and nutritional details. Detectable from a distance, the AQR codes offer enhanced accessibility through the Be My Eyes app, ensuring a seamless experience for shoppers with blindness, low vision, or deaf-blindness.

Unilever partners with Be My Eyes to introduce AI-assisted cooking © Unilever

The new partnership builds on addition of on-pack Accessible QR (AQR), developed by computer vision specialists Zappar, to Unilever’s Persil and Colman’s products in the UK last year and is part of Unilever’s global connected pack strategy strategy to incorporate technology for a more inclusive and engaging consumer experience.

Be My Eyes CEO, Mike Buckley, said: The 285 million blind and low vision consumers in the world buy the same products as everyone else. The difficulty in reading package ingredients and cooking instructions has long marred the cooking experience of these consumers. Unilever’s commitment to use new Zappar technology with Be My Eyes is pioneering a new era in product accessibility and disability convenience.

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