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
"Bun is such a sad word, is it not?" -- Watt, "Waiting for Godot"

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Open Food-gle

Local shelf search by grocery store
  [vote for,

This is an app that you open, type "ginger beer" into, and it tells you what aisle/level/shelf the product is on, in whatever grocery store you are in.

You can type other stuff, besides "ginger beer" in case you didn't get that. "Ginger beer" was supposed to be like "x" in an equation.

Adding a social element in here since a store wouldn't be likely to implement something that would make it easy to locate and buy just one item and then get the hell out.

In library school I used to call this the CVS principle, (a local drug store), because everything seemed to be organized randomly so that you had to browse around the store until you found what you were looking for and on the way there discover that you needed $50 of other stuff. I went in the first time looking for a toothbrush and walked out with bags and bags of stuff I didn't plan on getting.

JesusHChrist, Jul 14 2013

Halfbakery: Google Supermarket Search (2008) Google_20Supermarket_20Search
[jutta, Jul 16 2013]


       So I can get potatoes?
tatterdemalion, Jul 14 2013

       Q: XX beer? A: Near the ginger beer.
popbottle, Jul 14 2013

       Come to think of it, this would never work as an app run by any individual store, or even a bunch of stores because they want you to learn their exclusive and convoluted organization scheme so that you will have a hard time shopping other places once you have figured theirs out --- so this should be a social network where users contribute locations for points and maybe get ad-supported discounts in return.
JesusHChrist, Jul 14 2013

       Theologically speaking, I wouldn't have thought you need a toothbrush, given the parentage...
not_morrison_rm, Jul 15 2013

       Saddly, it has been all down hill since then.
JesusHChrist, Jul 15 2013

       Once in a while though, I do get stoned immaculate.
JesusHChrist, Jul 15 2013

       Yeah, well, we've all got our cross to bear. Speaking of which, nice performance art.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 15 2013

       I dunno - I found it a little turgid; the begatting scenes could have been made more of.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 15 2013

       Why have you forsaken my idea?
JesusHChrist, Jul 16 2013

       // everything seemed to be organized randomly so that you had to browse around the store until you found what you were looking for and on the way there discover that you needed $50 of other stuff.// This pretty much hits on why “store search” automation hasn’t, and I expect won’t, be coming to a store near you, or if it does, won’t stay long.   

       Before smartphones, ca. 1990, the US mid-Atlantic Giant supermarket chain had nifty little touchscreen (actually, they used a grid of IR lasers and detectors just above the screen, but to the same effect) kiosks that would accept your touches (just pick the 1st letter, then pick from a list, much like the “look up an item” on most present day self-checkouts) then draw a nice little “you are here – it is there – follow this path” to you item. They quietly retired them after a few years, because, as Jesus says, stores don’t want shoppers quickly getting what they want and getting out – they want them wandering lost (pissed off is optional), buying stuff they didn’t think they wanted.   

       For at least 5 years, there’s been some pretty neat “smart shopping carts” on the sell-to-retailers market that can do this even better, and without the need to install an app on anybody’s personal smartphone, some combined with “smart shelves” that label themselves and send their data to the bigger screen on the smartcart, but none have really caught on, despite their ability to reduce stocking and labeling labor, and advertise/recommend like an meth-addled teenage car salesperson on a roll.   

       A latest product along these lines, the Microsoft/Chaotic Moon SmarterCart, has a Microsoft Kinect to see and hear (voice interface) and motorized wheels to role to wheel itself around the store to everything on a list. 2012 webnews says these are to be in test/demo in some WholeFoods stores soon – I predict they be gone as quickly as they came.
CraigD, Jul 19 2013

       An OK idea, but needs to take second place behind a campaign to introduce immediate summary execution (with extreme prejudice) for any manager who rearranges the layout of the store even though it's been just fine for years and regular customers know exactly where everyting is.
8th of 7, Jul 19 2013

       I volunteer for immediate summary excecution. (Throws all the money on the floor)
JesusHChrist, Jul 19 2013

       So if I understand correctly, this equation works without planning: Let the Ginger beer be X, This is an app, and That is U. If U is in the grocery, in order to reach level X, open the store, locate just one item, shelf a product, and stuff whatever in the library. This equation makes it easy to tell U. But why walk out?
pashute, Jul 20 2013


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