Tuesday, November 6, 2012

FNCE Reflections -- Bethany Beaver

At this year’s 2012 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), I was able to attend the Appetite for Technology: Food, Nutrition and Cooking in the Digital Age lecture presented by Beth-Ann Eason and Sylvia Geiger. What a fantastic presentation!  We were introduced to current and upcoming innovative technologies focused on simplifying grocery shopping, menu planning, and nutritional messages. Two topics discussed, that were particularly interesting to me, were “virtual grocery stores” and the use of “radio frequency identification (RFID) tags”.  

With approximately thirty-nine thousand products lining grocery store shelves and about fifty thousand products in mega stores, grocery shopping has become a complex and time-consuming endeavor.  In 2005 many urban areas were introduced to online shopping. This concept allowed individuals to shop and order from the comfort of their home or office. It saved time and stress. Because of its success, companies are further expanding on this concept by developing virtual stores.  Virtual stores will be placed at convenient locations readily available to consumers, such as subway stations. A virtual store will consist of a large poster with printed products and QR codes. Consumers will be able to use their smartphones to scan any product they would like to purchase and add it to their virtual shopping cart. After shopping they can virtually check-out and the products will later be delivered to the customer’s desired location. Virtual stores will be more convenient and save even more of the customer’s valuable time.

Long, frustrating supermarket check-out lines may soon be obsolete with the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. These smart tags will communicate electronically with each product placed into the customer’s cart. After finishing their shopping, customers can simply leave with their items. Their charges will be billed to their bank account. No more scanning and waiting in long check-out lines. This new concept allows for simple, fast and effortless shopping.

photo courtesy of thekoreaguide.com
Posted on behalf of Bethany Beaver

1 comment:

  1. This is simply amazing - we need this on the USA - now!