Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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App locates products in store via RDIF, GPS or Bluetooth labels on or near product

Drive by or go in a store, or search a single web page and quickly find a product
  [vote for,

A powerful RFID ID transmitter is on the shelf label in the store. Your smartphone app (perhaps produced by t he retailer) will read the RFID data and point you to the item's location like a GPS. The shelf label could also contain a GPS and/or amplified (if legal) Bluetooth transmitter (other Bluetooth operations on your mobile device would be overwhelmed by the store product signals and could not be used while in the store) read by your mobile device. The app might tell you the quantity in-stock and price of the product as well. Stores owned by many different companies could feed the data to a single advertising supported website and one could easily tell where the product was, if it is in stock, and maybe the price versus having to go to each individual store's web page and checking stock information. Problem: Of course local stores may hesitate to help you find a product fast. Internet stores will not mind the help you locate the product, not so much the price and quantity for low inventory obsolete and loss leader items that are put on mega sales to increase customer traffic. The retail business is built on "encouraging" you to wander aimlessly through and purchase impulse buy items in the front of the store in order to arrive at commonly purchased items that you seriously need, like diapers, milk, meat, etc. which are in the back of the store. For this we need CHANGE in this attitude of retailers who prefer that the world "keep the CHANGE" inaccessible. A gutsy marketing test would be in order to see if the ease of locating items drives sales up or down - you never know.
Sunstone, Aug 23 2013

Text to find the product location http://techcrunch.c...magic/#.ymcfr9:traQ
No shopping assistance to be found? Walmart Simple Text is an assistant for shopping at Walmart. All you want to know is whether they have the candy you want and what aisle it’s in - now a test message is all you need. [Sunstone, Sep 23 2015]

This robot will be a big help in this task http://www.computer...d-with-doritos.html
"Your digital device app needs only to contact the robot, or the cloud holding the robot's gathered data, in order for the customer to get the desired product's location and availability (sorry I am unable to create new paragraphs on the Description line)... The robot could also carry a camera to film it's travels and products detected so that remote customers could shop and search the pictures or video of the shelves from home with a Skype type connection as product availability and price varies by store... As well, this same robot could order the low inventory goods, unload the trucks that bring them, and load and pull them on to a cart to restock them neatly in the proper display areas by referring to pre-existing images of the the shelves... What a tremendous help to store owners in reducing the drudgery of taking inventory, re-ordering and re-stocking. [Sunstone, Nov 13 2015]

RFID shopping cart http://www.rfidjour.../articles/view?3868
There's been repeated efforts to roll these out (no pun intended) for a decade or so, but so far, not much success [CraigD, Nov 20 2015]


       //A gutsy marketing test would be in order to see if the ease of locating items drives sales up or down - you never know.//   

       I strongly suspect the test has already been done. Chain stores spend tens of millions on finding out how to maximise revenue.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 23 2015

       All it needed was the title, really. [+] for the idea [-] for the rant and lack of paragraph breaks.
Voice, Sep 24 2015

       It is apparently too difficult to miniaturize or add RFID chips during the manufacturing (or shelving) process.   

       Otherwise, we could have dispensed with checkout waits decades ago.
4and20, Sep 24 2015

       A problem with this idea is that the NFC devices like those in smartphones and add-on smartphone covers have very short range - about 5 cm, to a theoretical max of about 20 cm. So you’d pretty much have to be close enough to see the merchandise before you could scan it, which isn’t much of a “locator” function.   

       It’s not RFID based, but there are a Bluetooth-based smartphone systems that help users locate stuff in stores, like Apple’s 2013+ iBeacon.   

       There are some long-range RFID readers, such as [link] RFID shopping carts.
CraigD, Nov 20 2015


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