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Elderly To Get Satellite Navigation To Find Their Way Around Supermarkets

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the too-many-aisles dept.

Medicine 80

Three government centers in the UK have been working on a way to use digital technology to help the elderly and the disabled. One of their ideas is a supermarket satellite navigation system to help elderly people who get confused by changing layouts in the aisles. Professor Paul Watson, of Newcastle University, said: "Many older people lack the confidence to maintain 'normal' walking habits. This is often due to worries about getting lost in unfamiliar, new or changing environments." A kitchen for Alzheimer's patients packed with hidden sensors and projectors is also in the works.

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80 comments

Very useful (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768129)

Now they can find all the dog food and hair nets...

Re:Very useful (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27768187)

but the asparagus was in this isle last week...

Re:Very useful (3, Interesting)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768345)

no, now they can have one more thing they dont understand how to make work. and they'll still ask the punk highschool kid where the alpo is.

Re:Very useful (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771343)

Make fun of them now, but you ain't getting any younger - in other words, you will be "they" sooner or later...

Technological solution to a social problem (3, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768133)

Wouldn't it be better for the supermarket to simply not rearrange their store all the damn time? Or alternatively, provide decent customer service by having employees give the elderly people directions?

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (0)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768191)

Wouldn't it be better for the supermarket to simply not rearrange their store all the damn time?

My grocery store changes layout significantly perhaps every year or two. That's not exactly "all the damn time"...

Or alternatively, provide decent customer service by having employees give the elderly people directions?

Decent customer service costs money. Given the choice, people generally vote (with their money) for cheaper food over better serviced food. Put another way: Would you rather pay $9 for a bottle of wine in the bag you carry to your car, or $13 for the same bottle of wine carried to your car by a checker?

Me? I'll pocket the $4 since I'm walking thataway anyhow, and so will enough other people that mega-marts (like WinCo or Wal-Mart) are the order of the day, now. Your (expensive!) friendly local grocery store is a relic of ancient memory.

But not *everybody* can carry their $9 bottle of wine to the car, and that's where ever-cheaper technology comes into play. It's just part of the gradual move society and technology are making towards The technology singularity [wikipedia.org] that you'll see mentioned around these parts. One more case of human intelligence being off-loaded to a machine because it can do the same job faster/better/cheaper.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768257)

My grocery store changes layout significantly perhaps every year or two. That's not exactly "all the damn time"...

For old people with memory loss, it is.

Decent customer service costs money. Given the choice, people generally vote (with their money) for cheaper food over better serviced food. Put another way: Would you rather pay $9 for a bottle of wine in the bag you carry to your car, or $13 for the same bottle of wine carried to your car by a checker?

I find it implausible that having a few people around to give directions would be as expensive as having baggers haul everybody's food to their car for them (which, by the way, Publix manages to do without being all that much more expensive anyway), especially if they had other tasks to perform at the same time (such as stocking shelves or sweeping the floor). Home Depot can do it (sort of); why not grocery stores?

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27768375)

For old people with memory loss, it is.

why are old people with memory loss leaving their homes to go grocery shopping alone? that seems pretty stupid/dangerous.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1, Funny)

cybernanga (921667) | more than 4 years ago | (#27769515)

For old people with memory loss, it is.

why are old people with memory loss leaving their homes to go grocery shopping alone? that seems pretty stupid/dangerous.

They keep forgetting to stay at home ;)

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27769963)

My grocery store changes layout significantly perhaps every year or two. That's not exactly "all the damn time"...

For old people with memory loss, it is.

Decent customer service costs money. Given the choice, people generally vote (with their money) for cheaper food over better serviced food. Put another way: Would you rather pay $9 for a bottle of wine in the bag you carry to your car, or $13 for the same bottle of wine carried to your car by a checker?

I find it implausible that having a few people around to give directions would be as expensive as having baggers haul everybody's food to their car for them (which, by the way, Publix manages to do without being all that much more expensive anyway), especially if they had other tasks to perform at the same time (such as stocking shelves or sweeping the floor). Home Depot can do it (sort of); why not grocery stores?

I thought you said badgers - now that would be interesting.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27770047)

Wouldn't it be better for the supermarket to simply not rearrange their store all the damn time?

My grocery store changes layout significantly perhaps every year or two. That's not exactly "all the damn time"...

Well thats twice a year too often. My local supermarket has had its first major reshuffle in 4 years, all very logical but very annoying as there were entire aisles i generally never had to walk down regularly. The usual excuse for a reshuffle is to make me buy stuff I'd not noticed before or more impulse & related purchases. Did it work - No! Lots of grumpy customers though...

You mean slashdot? (4, Funny)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768299)

Hang on a minute, you're saying constantly changing layout confuses people and drive people away??

Welcome to slashdot.

Re:You mean slashdot? (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771249)

It's okay for Slashdot to do it, because I'm not elderly and easily confused.

Re:You mean slashdot? (4, Funny)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 4 years ago | (#27772621)

It's okay for Slashdot to do it, because I'm not elderly and easily confused.

I am. Could you tell me where the Baked Beans are?

Re:You mean slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27773759)

Next to the herbs.

Geek Food Humor... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#27775069)

It's okay for Slashdot to do it, because I'm not elderly and easily confused.

I am. Could you tell me where the Baked Beans are?

Are they made by POST? Perhaps they're next to the WINE. Want me to GET that for you?

Ha! I kill me sometimes...

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (0)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768347)

not rearrange their store all the damn time?

Well my solution to that is simple. I don't even make a list.

I walk up and down every single aisle every time. Look side to side and if there is something that I want or need.. into the cart. It's fast too. I hit every part of the store only one time. Usually in and out in 15 minutes or less especially since most aisles don't have anything and I just walk right through it.

Heck, I even comparison shop and check for shit chemical ingredients and I am still out faster than most other people.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (3, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768497)

Try that when your post 65 years old and starting to have memory problems. You will have a great time trying to remember what you need.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#27773553)

Heck, I'm not quite 50, and my memory's as good as it ever was (IIRC), and I STILL forget something half the time.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

ethorad (840881) | more than 4 years ago | (#27774695)

I've built a spreadsheet that I type my shopping list into. It looks up the aisle number, and then the aisle order based on the route I take around my local tesco and then sorts. As an added bonus my popular recipes are entered as well so I can choose a recipe, type in the number of people to make it for and the items get added to the list automatically. Means I can take a print round the shop and get out fast.

Now if I had a GPS locator as well, I could try loading it all onto a roomba or something so I can stay at home with a beer!

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (2, Funny)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768357)

Wouldn't it be better for the supermarket to simply not rearrange their store all the damn time? Or alternatively, provide decent customer service by having employees give the elderly people directions?

... and stay off my lawn! spoken like a true geriatric.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771267)

spoken like a true geriatric.

Given that I'm actually 24 years old, I'm not sure whether that's a complement or an insult!

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27768513)

As someone that works at a grocery store, you are entirely correct. The employees should be helping the customers find the items they need, and at least be polite, if not cheerful about it. If there aren't enough employees to do that, or they don't know the layout of the store well enough...there's your problem right there.

Yes, the annoying customer is asking me where the damned bread is for the fifth time this month and interrupting the job I was assigned to do. That's ok, 'cuz his dollars are helping pay my paycheck.

The employees that don't understand that need a good smack upside the noggin.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 4 years ago | (#27769897)

Nevermind rearrange their store, they keep changing their mind as to what products you are allowed to buy (i.e. which ones are even available in their stores), based on what makes them more money or which suppliers have been good boys this week. Tesco I'm looking at you.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 4 years ago | (#27773471)

I concur. The number of times my local Tesco doesn't have bottles of Pepsi but have almost an entire aisle of Coke is astounding. I can only assume Coke are paying them not to order Pepsi that week.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#27770055)

Monotony, like monogamy is not in nature's interest.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem Mon- (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#27774667)

otony may be why SatNav systems guide or confuse the elderly over or onto piers, cliffs, rail tracks....

Diabolical SatNav: Turn right and head into Aisl 5. Increase speed. Aim directly for open electrical box behind flapping chill curtain. Worried? Don't worry. Continue pushing cart into open, live panel...

Bjzjjzhhhzhzhuhhh

Ku-thunk...

Diabolical SatNav: Non-perishable non-go-back flapping in Aisle 5. Bring air evacuator! Reason: Boiling/evaporating Ensure and Depends in high concentration.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#27770109)

Or alternatively, provide decent customer service by having employees give the elderly people directions?

There are shops that provide service like this, some of them are supermarkets. They're more expensive though.

It would probably be easier to teach the elderly how to order their groceries online. Since they're being delivered "off-peak" the charge could be less, too.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27771223)

All I know is that I'm hearing a Clash song and picturing a music video with confused octogenarians in an Aisle 6 pile up.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

phly1x (1286846) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771529)

...and rob us of staying in touch with our hunter/gatherer vestiges? no way. besides--old people like to wander; they do it all the time.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771893)

Wouldn't it be better for the supermarket to simply not rearrange their store all the damn time?

Amen. There is nothing worse than getting every item on your list except one, going to the far end of the hypermarket/supermarket (20+ aisles) and finding out - yes, they have rearranged the layout - what you thought was "packet/instant meals" has now been categorized as "international foods" and is now on a top/bottom shelf somewhere in the middle of the store. But not to worry, the store have placed guides with maps at the corner of every 5th aisle to help people find their way around.

Re:Technological solution to a social problem (1)

joyfeather (1167073) | more than 4 years ago | (#27776329)

When I was much younger, my mother could sit down and write up a grocery list to feed a family of 9 for a week- and do it in the order she would be going thru the store aisles- by memory alone! Now she gets frustrated because things get moved around, or aren't carried anymore- and she's only buying for 2.

Solution? Ha! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#27779291)

More like another way to mess with old people! Rearranging the aisles is fun by itself, but then when we give them the satnav system programmed with the wrong information, then, my friend, hilarity will truly ensue.

How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (3, Insightful)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768135)

That is absoloutely brilliant and hilarious all at once.

Re:How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768197)

I'd be interested to hear from somebody who works at a grocery store (or better yet, a big home improvement store, e.g. Lowes) how many times per day somebody asks them where to find something. 10? 100? I wouldn't mind asking a machine instead, if it worked.

Re:How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (2, Informative)

nikclev (590173) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768643)

Having worked at Lowe's, I'd venture that about 80% of the questions I got were variations of "Where is (foo)?" Usually they had a pretty good idea of what it was they were looking for, but not the exact name. They quite often knew they needed (for example) a joist hanger, but of the 14 different kinds we had they didn't know which one they needed. Thats 14 different kinds of *just* joist hangers. We had about 120 different kinds of nailer plates/menders/rafter trusses/ties/etc that are all used in wood frame construction and are sometimes called joist hangers. It can get a bit overwhelming for the customer that doesn't know *exactly* which one they need. In general, the only customers that knew *exactly* which one they needed were contractors and they had already bought them 20 times before.

It didn't bother me to help customers find items, but when the customer service manual says you should -walk with- the customer and help them (basically until they told you to go away) but the boss tells you you take too much time with the customer it gets frustrating. I completely understand why people get upset with the "It's on isle X" (and then employee walks away) type answer, but that's what some of the managers wanted us to do.

An item location service however it works would be good; but it would have to be fairly smart about helping the customer get the right name for what they're searching for to pare down which kind of joist hanger they needed, with pictures and a good list of synonyms for each product.

Re:How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27770863)

It didn't bother me to help customers find items, but when the customer service manual says you should -walk with- the customer and help them (basically until they told you to go away) but the boss tells you you take too much time with the customer it gets frustrating.

This alone is why I quit working at Safeway. You can't expect me to be polite and courteous and walk a customer 3/4 of the way across the store and do the 7 other tasks you assigned to me while I get assailed by more customers on the way back to my previous task.

Re:How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27770981)

Reminds me of the time I went into a huge branch of Boots the Chemist to get some nail clippers.. I couldn't find them so asked an assistant:-

Me:"Excuse me, Where are the nail clippers, Please?"
Assistant: "For toenails or fingernails?"
Me: "Um, Fingernails... Do you keep them in different places then??"
Assistant: (Looks at me as though I'm strange) "Of course not, they're both together"
Me: "So why did you ask... Never mind, Thanks"

I didn't tell her I planned to use them on both Toe and Finger nails!! Hah!! take that! Boots Shop Assistant!!

Re:How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27771409)

Probably about five times a night on average (probably a whole lot more during the day but I work night shift). I try and ignore the customers as much as possible because we have to do a lot of work and they yell at you if you don't do it all super fast. This is at Loblaws "The Real Canadian" Superstore.

Re:How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (0, Offtopic)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768699)

This is what an unconstrained national government looks like.
It wastes taxpayer money on petty things, and elsewhere, it uses it's power to direct people's lives in ever-increasing detail.

Remember that, when you advocate the US government take on yet another role. The state becomes all-encompassing, perverse, petty, and ultimately tyrannical (even if in a bureaucratically infuriating, superficially benign manner.)

Re:How this isn't an onion article is beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27771329)

Great...technology to better enable the elderly to get in their cars and go shopping. Just what we need! Leisure World is already a combat zone.

How about investing in making the delivery business model work at affordable prices?

Changing floor layout...?! (1, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768139)

The local grocery store haven't changed their floor layout in 20 years. The only thing that changes is the price of food: up, up, and up.

Now hopefully.... (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768157)

Hopefully those people who have difficulty figuring out a new layout in a store will be able to figure out this new software tool. Knowing my grandma, I doubt it.

Oh sure (5, Funny)

malkir (1031750) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768169)

Teaching the elderly with Alzheimers how to use their new hand held satellite/rfid/wifi mapping device will be a SNAP!

Re:Oh sure (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771825)

Come on, we all know how comfortable the elderly are with high tech gadgets. Now all we need is a bunch of skateboarding teenagers at the entrance to greet them so they'll REALLY feel at home.

'normal' walking habits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27768171)

From the country that created the ministry of silly walks? Really?

How can this work? (4, Insightful)

Masa (74401) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768243)

Every time, when I hear about these in-door satellite navigation systems, I can't help but wonder, how these even could work. First of all, AFAIK, the GPS signal is so faint that it will not work inside the buildings. Also, the accuracy of the mobile tower / GPS systems might not be enough for this kind of applications.

Re:How can this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27768363)

DGPS. kinda like what your surveyors use in caves. BTW, my samsung innov8 with Sirfstar iii GPS chipset picks up signals inside walmart and home depot all the time. i can actually navigate with garmin mobile XT inside the store and mark isles.

Re:How can this work? (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768767)

DGPS still relies on you having a signal in the first place. Most supermarkets around where I live have too much steel and concrete in their structure to allow any kind of signal while inside - and it certainly won't work in caves.

Re:How can this work? (2, Informative)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#27770021)

I don't think DGPS means what you think it means. It's not really used in consumer devices and it certainly will never help you in situations where you do not have a signal. DGPS mostly helps with ionospheric errors and Walmarts aren't _that_ big...

I'm guessing you're thinking of A-GPS which does help in low signal environments and is used in consumer devices. I'm still quite surprised to hear a sirf III working reliably indoors -- I've never seen that happening.

Also, surveyors using GPS in caves? Do you have a link for that? I've never heard of it before, and I have to say it sounds pretty improbable.

Re:How can this work? (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#27770067)

ah... now I got it: the DGPS comment and the Samsung innov8 comment weren't related. Makes more sense now, I withdraw my "I don't think DGPS means what you think it means" comment, otherwise my comment stands.

Re:How can this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27775981)

sure.
http://internationalmining.mining.com/2008/06/10/gps-for-underground-operations-great-potential-for-controlling-block-caves-saving-trapped-miners-and-machine-automation/

upto 2km through rock.

Re:How can this work? (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#27797203)

You could at least read the article you link to:

Positioning ... is the result of using large scale VLF transmission systems embedded in the mine acting like satellites.

In other words, not GPS at all. Any other links?

Re:How can this work? (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768857)

They probably don't mean actual GPS. It would be trivial to set up signal broadcasters in the stores to have the devices navigate by.

Re:How can this work? (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771473)

Dude, any digital navigation is automatically labeled "GPS" because digital navigation is too foreign to the common press. Calling all digital navigation GPS wildly inaccurate, yes, but easier than trying to explain what is actually going on.

And yer right, GPS won't work in a building or even under heavy canopy of trees and if it did, it's not accurate enough. 30ft difference isn't much for a conventoinal or nuclear bomb, but it is when choosing potted beef and mightydog dog food.

Re:How can this work? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#27771793)

You use something called pseudo satellites [wikipedia.org].

They are emitters with a precisely known coordinate that aid your device in constructing its own location.

If the pseudolites are set up properly you can avoid using GPS satellites at all and still get better precision as you're avoiding all the atmospheric intereferense. You still get scattering though, but the more pseudolites you use, the better accuracy.

Since the signal doesn't have to travel through 200 km of atmosphere, you get better signals as well. Powering them directly off the mains helps in this regard as well.

Indoors isn't the only place they're usefull. If you set up pseudolites on say every 10 or 20 lamp posts in cities with big sky scrapers, you'd get much better GPS coverage there as well, even with regular hand held units

The reason they're talking about "satellite navigation" is that you can easily use a regular GPS receiver. Add a custom map for your store, and you're good to go.
The reason they're talking about "satellite navigation" is that you can easily use a regular GPS receiver. Add a custom map for your store, and you're good to go.

Sweet (2, Insightful)

PopeGumby (1125507) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768351)

Sweet idea, not just for elderley, but for anyone visiting a new supermarket?

the only problem is you'd have to make sure the "markers" get moved around properly - wouldnt leave it up to the 16 year olds who are mostly responsible for packing shelves...

Re:Sweet (2, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768505)

The product is placed as per store management, if it doesn't come from even higher.

So, the clerks won't be the ones keeping the map data updated. The people altering the planograms would.

Non-issue.

Hey Grandpa... (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768399)

We know you're having trouble figuring out the whole "grocery store layout" concept and are trying to figure out an effective means to not shit yourself, but here's the newest 10 giga T5635 Garmin electro deluxe (now with 20% more marketing!!) to help you figure out the supermarket layout. Don't forget to check and make sure it's charged, updated with the new layouts, and make sure you angle it right so you can see it.

Aren't we helpful???

Not Thought Out Enough (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768443)

ok we have elderly, who do not like all these new gadgets, who have bad eye-sight and memory are going to use a small device with complicated settings and a small screen. what happened to those trusty signs they used to hang from the roof saying whats in the aisle. talk about over complicating such a simple problem.

That would seem to defeat the purpose.... (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768511)

Having worked in a large grocery store previously, I can tell you that a key reason for periodic rearrangement of items is specifically for the purpose of getting people to wander in the store longer, because the longer they are spending looking for something they want, the greater the chance that they will see something else they might like and pick that up too. Sure, there are also people who will get frustrated and leave without buying anything, but statistically speaking, the increased sales as a result of more impulse buying more than makes up for those lost sales. I once asked about this while I was there, and this is how it was explained to me. I was quick to point out the fact that customers don't leave as quickly would certainly carry an expense in the form of increased security requirements to keep shoplifting down, but apparently the increase in sales outweigh even that additional cost too.

Re:That would seem to defeat the purpose.... (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768823)

There is definitely a compromise that catches me:

You could have each individual store maintain their layout, but each store have a different layout. Then, if I walk into a different Safeway, I don't know of fruit/vegetables is to the right or left from the door, where the natural foods are, and so on.

I often walk to the wrong end of the store because it isn't the same as the last Safeway I was in. (Of course, this only gets people who can choose to stop at one of 4 different Safeways on the way home from work)

Re:That would seem to defeat the purpose.... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27772731)

Which brings up a point about this technology: you could use it to send shoppers along circuitous routes, and send them past products you think they are likely to purchase. Those rewards cards give a lot of information on people purchasing certain things being likely to be susceptible to a "Special" on an item (which at my local Safeway anyway, usually brings it down to the price of the same stuff across town.)

Trivial Pursuits (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#27768679)

The first challenge for the elderly shopper is getting to the store.

Then there is the problem is reading labels and prices.

Getting the attention of the butcher.

Managing bulky and heavy packages. Navigating the check out line with your pride and wallet intact. Making it home safely..,and packing everything away.

Product placement is in three dimesions.

Top shelf. Middle shelf, Bottom shelf. Traffic flow and product placement within the store are designed to maximize profits - not convenience.

Management can be prickly about revealing schemes that work.

What the elderly shopper needs isn't a high tech gadget. It's the box boy in the aisles. The kid willing to help out.

 

Re:Trivial Pursuits (1)

bozojoe (102606) | more than 4 years ago | (#27784195)

all solved with the all powerful Icart.

navigation, carrying capacity, and good looks, all in one cart.

four wheels of sexiness

I want this! (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 4 years ago | (#27769147)

Ever since I got my iphone (last August), I have been relying heavily on it to map out efficient routes, and figure out where new places are.

Now, every time I am in a new supermarket, and looking for bread or something, I immediately pull out my iphone, only to sadly realize that the bread isle at safeway isn't on google maps yet :-(

I have seriously do this about twice a month.

The Clash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27771057)

I wasn't born so much as I fell out
Nobody seemed to notice me
We had a hedge back home in the suburbs
Over which I never could see

I heard the people who lived on the ceiling
Scream and fight most scarily
Hearing that noise was my first ever feeling
Thats how its been all around me

I'm all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality

Im all tuned in, I see all the programmes
I save coupons from packets of tea
Ive got my giant hit discoteque album
I empty a bottle and I feel a bit free

The kids in the halls and the pipes in the walls
Make me noises for company
Long distance callers make long distance calls
And the silence makes me lonely

I'm all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality

And its not hear
It disappear
Im all lost

my parents have a tech junk pile closet (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#27772151)

My siblings buy my parents high tech gifts thinking its trendy or will make life easier. But just about all of the gifts go right into the closet and collect dust. Most of the stuff is not easy to use and complicates life.

I had the same idea except... (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 4 years ago | (#27772163)

I had this same idea a while back, but my idea was for everyone. The carts would have a device on them. You could put in what you're looking for and it would direct you there. It could even be aware of the locations of other carts and try to plot the quickest path.

Of course, stores would never go for it because it would get you in & out with less impulse buys.

Seems like overkill (1)

dcm684 (1281754) | more than 4 years ago | (#27772547)

I remember 10 years ago, that the local grocery store had electronic lists on their carts. The unit would indicate where everything was. It was pretty basic. It had a monochrome screen with discrete push buttons.

I'd imagine that these days a touchscreen with images would make it really easy for even my grandmother to find things in the store. Just push the button for noodles then the button for spaghetti and its location appears on a map of the store.

The store could even advertise weekly specials or sell ad space to offset the cost of the units.

Besides, why would GPS be more useful than the Aisle indicators?

Yeah, the perfect solution for old people (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#27772627)

(sarcasm mode on) Yes, this is perfect-- it's a well-established fact that older people are uniformly technologically savy, and would always prefer getting a unfamiliar new high-tech gadget so that they can spend a few happy hours going down the learning curve, instead of using the previous technique, asking somebody.

(/sarcasm)

Diabolical DDR... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#27774803)

"Sensors hidden in every cupboard door, appliance and utensil tell a central computer exactly what a dementia patient is doing at any time.

If the kitchen thinks the individual has become confused, it projects written reminders of what to do next on to the closest wall."

I sense a Diabolical Dance Dance Revolution coming along.... Could be a virtual Soylent Green of sorts... for those at their wits end..

But, this sort of technology could be useful for tracking and directing house-arrest subjects; prisoners; uncontrollable police; mayors visiting brothels; students; pets; and those who design such systems....

Roof, roof! (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 4 years ago | (#27781975)

Inability to receive satellite transmissions through the metal roof of a typical supermarket will be a minor problem to be worked out in beta testing.
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