Friday, March 19, 2010


Advances in digital electronics and information technology are empowering consumers to make decisive choices during their purchase outings in the retail market. A modification in the configuration of the ubiquitous mobile phone enables a consumer to read the bar code to get a complete detail about every thing he wants to know about a product and zero in on the one he likes most.

"A product-information smartphone app has taken out the top spot at February's Greener Gadgets competition in New York. The app will allow a consumer to scan a product barcode with their phone's camera, revealing product origin, seasonal information, food miles, pricing history and previous buying habits. The app, known as AUG (short for Augmented Living Goods Program) will compile a directory of information on producers of fresh produce, such as meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables. Program members could scan a membership card, or their phone, at checkout, allowing them to track their purchases and review items".

Since this gadget is in early stages of development, how far the producers and retailers who have to provide the product details, will cooperate with the soft ware agencies to make it a reality remains to be seen. Similarly the ability of the phone to display on its small screen vast details about the information scanned from the barcode is a matter of conjecture. If such a gadget proves its success, food industry may not be accused of lack of transparency in their product promotion activities.


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