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Interactive Shelving

That thin slice of shelf that faces consumers with analogue pricing information can be brought into the 21st century as a read/write communication between man and food. A new potential to display data about food far beyond price.

Photo of James McBennett
21 15

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Following on from Tom Hulme's idea "Window to the farm" /open/localfood/concepting/window-to-the-farm/
I have looked into modifying the supermarket shelf.

A low cost version using only LED lights and basic controls could be made, but a full on touchscreen would create a rich media platform for consumers and producers to have a conversation.

Microsoft provide us with an interesting digital future supermarket in this video at 0:55 a man reduces product pricing on a tablet, altering price of all items in the store, updating the shelves digital screens.

Default display might be price, but upon touching the screens one see more information, changing the display of the individual product, or the entire food group on the shelves. For example, a customer might switch the displays from price to 'distance traveled to market' changing the entire shelf to temporarily display miles, not price. 

Other options include..
1. Customer feedback and comments.
2. Like buttons.
3. Share this product on your facebook/twitter.
4. Price History
5. (@ Meena Kadri) Nutritional Comparison between products
6. (@ Meena Kadri) Goes Well With... (customer vetted?)
7. (@ Meena Kadri) Hyper-local Index (yet to be invented? but to include distance, collaboration between producers, *local* recycle, repurpose, up-cycling, etc)
8.(@ Meena Kadri)Search a specific shelf for a particular ingredient. (Useful for those with Allergies.)
10: Third party recommendations. What does the Guardian Newspaper or Jamie Oliver recommend or the Goodguide.

Look forward to your comments..


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Photo of DeletedUser


Great concept James. There are so many relevant applications in terms of the kind of information people would love to have about the food on the supermarket shelves. Has anyone suggested recipe ideas?

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