Like many other things today, modern grocery stores and supermarkets aren’t exempt from technology innovations. For instance, Panasonic’s smart shopping basket is already used in some Japanese shops, whereas Amazon has opened a retail store without any cashiers, registers, and so on. Now, there is another hi-tech example of a future supermarket.
An Italian architect and professor in MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) created a concept of a store with augmented reality. Its visitors won’t be stranding in aisles looking for something random – they will be able to inform themselves about the product range, find out more about a certain product, its contents, and then make a decision whether to buy it or not. According to Ratti himself, behind every product there is a story and every customer must know it to make a purchase. So, this interactive system will help people choose everything they need and eliminate things they don’t need.
This supermarket will have interesting, hi-tech merchandising – all products will be sorted on shelves according to their contents and ingredients. So, grapes will lie beside wine and canned vegetables – beside natural vegetables. Every shelf will feature a long, interactive display above it. Customers will have to put any product against the display, so that its motion detectors and a special Microsoft Kinect sensor could recognize it. After that, the display presents all necessary information about this product, including nutritional value, manufacturing details or allergen presence. That way, the customer knows what exactly he is buying.
Such supermarket has recently been opened in Milan. Ratti hopes that more retail chains will use digital technologies and more interaction with people.