From the press announcement:
Using a camera, a set of smart scales and the same type of machine learning technology found in autonomous vehicles, Winnow Vision ‘learns’ to recognise different foods being thrown in the bin and calculates the financial and environment cost of this discarded food to commercial kitchens.
A demo video on Winnow’s site shows its product in use at an IKEA cafeteria. As unsold food is thrown straight into the garbage can, Winnow’s computer vision sees and identify the food that is being thrown out. The garbage can sits on top of a scale, allowing the system to know just how much food is being tossed.
With this type of information, chefs and kitchen managers can then see what foods they are over-ordering or making too much of and adjust both their inventory management and production accordingly. The hope is that they’ll buy only the ingredients they need and create less food waste in the process.
Winnow isn’t the only company using scales and cameras to fight food waste in high-volume kitchens. LeanPath offers a similar solution, though it requires users to manually enter in the food being thrown out.
With 40 percent of the food in the United States never getting eaten, fighting food waste is a big problem — and as my colleague, Catherine Lamb recently wrote, a there are a lot of startups looking to tackle it.
We’ll now have to see how much Winnow’s computer vision system helps.