Blog: Secrets from the Chef

Supermarket interface or Cart 2.0

Denis KortunovAuthor: Denis Kortunov
29 October 2008

Supermarket interface or Cart 2.0When I visit a supermarket I sometimes engage in somewhat indecent activity amidst endless shelves with groceries. I like to peek into other people’s carts. I observe what other people buy. But it is not some useless habit. Sometimes I happen to like some buyers and I pick the same products from shelves. This way I have discovered for myself a range of tasty products and many extraordinary but useful things.

And what if we add some web 2.0 into a conventional supermarket? What if we turn it into a hi-tech activity. Clearly one of the main attributes of a supermarket is a cart. So let’s start the cart evolution.

Cart 2.0

A cart consists of a handle, a basket and a set of wheels — we are going to leave all that but add some new features to make it contemporary and even more useful:

  • A touch-screen. In the future all the things will have touch-screens;
  • We build in a wi-fi adapter or its analog to wire all the carts into a LAN;
  • We label all the products with tags that can be read remotely. We place a scanner inside the cart to identify whether a product item is inside the cart once we place it there.

Cart 2.0

What do we get from all that?

  • The cart automatically detects all the products and gives us a shopping summary in real time;
  • You can read details on each product: ingredients, calories, etc. You do not have to peer at the minute font on the package;
  • Feedback. You can award points to each product and see how other shoppers rated it. You can leave short comments;
  • From the item above we gain ratings and now the cart can make suggestions on what to consider;
  • You do not have to wait until the cashier scans all the purchases. You just need to swipe your card or pay in cash the amount displayed on the cart’s screen;
  • The cart’s screen can also show ads, and the ads can be very closely targeted considering the contents of the cart;
  • If a supermarket is large and tangled, the cart will be able to locate itself (for instance by triangulating the wi-fi routers). So selecting “meat” out of the list of departments automatically directs you to the right aisle.

The future is bright!

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