Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Grocery List Free-Text Interface

Site or email analyzer reads your list and turns it into an order
  [vote for,

[changed idea name and fixed a bit]
If there are questions about items (like if there are several brands or colors to choose from and you didn't specify, or if you don't know the exact name) it suggests a few possibilities to choose from.

[added] In other words you send an email with: 1 sliced bread, eggs, 3 milk, 1 ketchup, 1 mustard (medium, hot). It sends you back (or if it's online on a site, it opens a new page with) a nice order form. The form has item number, possibly picture, qty, price and if there are brands to select from or some special offer there's a list on the side to choose from and change/update/add.

If you have already submitted a list, it remembers your preferences, so you can write in (in free-text): The usual but only 2 milk. Or when you write eggs, it knows you want 12.
If the system doesn't have any questions, it just sends you the form without the need for confirmation. (but with which you can still change and update).

The order could be sent to a certain supermarket, and (1) wait for you there, (2) delivered to your home or (3) it could be printed along with a map and in correct order for fast purchase.

pashute, Nov 12 2002

intelligate (hope they're still up) http://www.intelligate.co.il
Wow it's hard getting half an idea across to halfbakers... [pashute, Oct 04 2004]


       But haven't we done it before?
snarfyguy, Nov 12 2002

       Nick: you just send an email with: 3 milk, 1 rice, 1 ketchup, 1 sliced bread. You receive an email with a nice order form including brands and prices. If there was a question about brandnames or otherwise it will be asked. Isn't that an easy way to fill in your order?   

       Snarfy, No not the same at all! The invention here is to read free text and turn it into an interface which helps you buy. The idea there is to have a place AT THE STORE to retrieve your list (as is) and use it.   

       Jutta, so why is there only a fishbone there?
pashute, Nov 12 2002

       [fixed idea and changed name]
1a. This is different and much easier than searching for each item which is tedious.
1b. If the interface is email, it's much more convenient. A lot of people have only short periods of time when they can be online, and also working with online apps can be exhausting. Particularly with slow connections.
2a. No extra work either: If all is clear and the store has no questions to ask, it simply sends you a receipt.
2b. In the fax order form you have to follow a form. (I think, maybe you have some other kind of system).
3. Tracking what you buy: That's right. It does that, but better. You can just write: (email) The regular without the milk. Notice you are writing in FREE TEXT. This is easy.
4. It's not like your ATM. Of course it knows your preferences and sends you the order form accordingly.
pashute, Nov 12 2002

       Having seen people posting here and other places, I would not bet on a random sampling of persons being able to articulate exactly what it was that they wanted. By the time the grocery store figured out just what the order was for, much time would have been wasted, and the customer offended to the point of taking their business elsewhere.
lurch, Nov 13 2002

       Actually I know how to do this, so that people would really like it. (Proven). The technology is called Intelligate and now owned by M.L.L (all .co.il sites).   

       I had tested the technology as head of R&D at M.L.L two years ago.
pashute, Nov 13 2002

       quoting [pashute] - "If it's baked, give a link!"
lurch, Nov 13 2002

       No, I know the technology to do it. The idea is completely new, and I happen to think it's a good one too. Posting the link...
pashute, Nov 13 2002

       So the existing technology is the parsing of free form text and searching for the parsed terms in a database and then performing some action with the query results? And your idea is to apply that technology to ordering groceries?   

       Am I even close?
half, Nov 13 2002

       The technology is not looking up in a database, it's a lot of AI neural nets etc.   

       Actually it's more than to apply the technology, (meant to be an upgrade to existing applications and websites) it's to create a new application and using this or similar technology, for a grocery list.   

       I started toying with the specs, and it seems I could design such a program myself.
pashute, Nov 13 2002

       I guess it would help me if I knew what "free-text" is. Google doesn't help...
snarfyguy, Nov 13 2002

       Free text means you don't have to start looking up menus or screens. You just write what you want, in plain English. Simply send in an email in plain regular English, and the software will figure out what you want for your list. If there is something it doesn't understand it will ask (or offer some options). [already anticipating the annos for this one...]
pashute, Nov 13 2002

       //The technology is not looking up in a database, it's a lot of AI neural nets etc//
Hmm...the AI seems like a bit of overkill to me. I guess I must be over simplifying. That's certainly a new problem for me.
half, Nov 13 2002

       (Five years later... returning to idea)   

       Take a look a link. You'll see whats (still) missing, and how the technology can be applied.
pashute, Mar 12 2006


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