Besides the elderly gentleman paying in gold coins, the biggest holdup at supermarket checkouts is the cashier finding an item's barcode and properly scanning. So Toshiba has developed a faster camera-based system that recognises the food, packaged or fresh.
The system uses pattern recognition technology, so it can identify labels or packaging, as well as fresh items like fruits or vegetables that are typically lacking even barcodes. Mistakes are reduced since cashiers don't need to punch in codes for fresh items, and the system is fast enough to recognise items even when they're in motion.
Of course it still won't stop the line from being held up as someone contests the 10c yoghurt coupon the store won't accept, but it's a step in the right direction of making grocery shopping easier to endure. [DigInfo via Ubergizmo]