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Shelf search engine

Item lights up when asked for
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
  [vote for,

RFID tags identify each item on a shelf in a shop. The shopper uses a small keyboard with a single line display on their shopping basket, trolley or on the actual shelf, for instance "Potatoes", "Forsythia", "Final Destination DVD" or "War And Peace", into which they type the name of the item, which is displayed in one of fifteen colours with a fifteen colour background. This is translated into a code returned by the RFID tag and the location lights up with flashing LEDs, alternating the two colours concentrically, foreground in the inside, background on the outside, to indicate the position to the shopper, along with a spotlight. If more than one item answers the description, all relevant items light up. If the item is not on a nearby shelf, a simple map is displayed to where it's located. This will work provided there are fewer than two hundred and twenty-five shoppers.

Can also be used in libraries and at home in bookshelves, larders, shoe racks and so forth.

nineteenthly, Jan 03 2011


       I pulled a paper book off the shelf today to look something up; I opened the back cover to get the index and was genuinely perplexed that there was not a text entry field to type in my search term for an electronic search of the whole text.
pocmloc, Jan 03 2011

       Well maybe there should be in some mysterious way.   

       That reminds me of a cartoon of a post-nuclear wasteland with a bloke staggering across it carrying a TV set looking for somewhere to plug it in.
nineteenthly, Jan 03 2011

       I just want something that can search my soul.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2011

       What would you say if the search result came back, “no entries found”?   

       I have a near-complete run of an academic journal on my shelf that I sometimes consult; I use the publisher’s website as an index to find the article I am looking for. I suppose Goggle Bocks could be used in a similar way, if the book you are using is suitably indexed, though a less cumbersome display of page numbers would be quicker and easier to use.   

       Anyway I am deviating, this is a great idea as posted. [+] for the spotlight.
pocmloc, Jan 03 2011

       I'd have to pull the ad on eBay.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2011

       [MB], what you could maybe do is bare your soul on a blog and Google it.
nineteenthly, Jan 04 2011

       Hmmm.... in addition: Tool for burglars, Mobile internet linked RFID reader, set-up to indicate items in order of value. Potentially with added functionality to look up item weight and size and to offer advice on how to gain peak re-sale value from one haul.   

       Despite such minor problems [+]   

       [Pocmloc], You can get bar-code reader software that uses Google Books and/or Amazon to do this sort of auto lookup on the ISBN number.
RattyBunyip, Jan 05 2011

       The majority of my books don't have barcodes; many don't have ISBNs. But thanks for the tip!
pocmloc, Jan 05 2011

       Someone's going to have to put that together [RattyBunyip], though you have already. Makes me think of the security hole in the library system here - to renew a lost library card, you needn't provide ID, just your name. If you know the name of one person in this district, all you have to do is give the library staff your name, then you could take out twelve items each worth around two hundred quid and sell them. But oddly, nobody has ever done this.
nineteenthly, Jan 05 2011

       [pocmloc] //many don't have ISBNs// I realize you didn't mean it this way, but that's the most Stephen Potter-ish thing I've heard in a long while. Although, it really should be preceeded by "of course," and said plonkingly.   

       Seriously, the list of titles on your shelves that don't have ISBNs would be a very interesting list indeed. Care to give us a few examples?
mouseposture, Jan 06 2011

       Well [MP], the oldest would be a mutilated odd volume from Heinrich Scherer's “Atlas Novus”, printed c.1702; the newest “On the Music of the Spheres” by Robert Fludd, trans. Paul Ferguson, ordered direct from the publisher last week.
pocmloc, Jan 06 2011

       I also have quite a few books without ISBNs. They're not in the majority by any means but i have got quite a few nineteenth and eighteenth century books. I think ISBNs were introduced after WWII and will of course now Google it.   

       ...and according to Wikipedia, it looks like nothing resembling ISBNs existed until a few months before i was born, which i'd like to think makes it pretty new.
nineteenthly, Jan 06 2011

       So, who's going to admit to having a 17th century book on their shelves?
pocmloc, Jan 06 2011

       I _might_ have. I can think of two candidates: a church bible and some Scottish thing with a weirdly big font for its size.
nineteenthly, Jan 06 2011

       I have "A Plaine and Familiar Exposition of the Ten Commandments", printed in 1615 and bound in vellum. It's not exactly a gripping read.
hippo, Jan 06 2011

       I've got a few myself, come to think of it. The favorites are grandfather's copy of _Jurgen_ and a second hand Pléiade _Recherche du Temps Perdu_.
mouseposture, Jan 07 2011


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