Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New Ideas in Barcodes

I tend to do a lot of my clothing-shopping at a small number of brands. I have the credit card for one of the brands, and they do all sorts of marketing to me.

My new idea: In the fitting room they should have a gizmo with a barcode scanner and a touch-screen display. I would log in as me (maybe by swiping my credit card?) and then I'd scan the barcode of each garment as I tried it on. On the display I could tap to indicate if it fit or if it didn't fit what was wrong with it -- like simultaneously being too tight in the hips while way too big in the waist, or the waist gaping open at the back while being too tight in the front. After a while the system would learn about both my taste in clothing and what fits (and what doesn't), and it would be able to steer me towards things that I would like and away from things that are a waste of my time.

And a similar system could work in my kitchen, too, as every time I buy a food I can scan it in, and every time I use something up, I can scan it out. Then my kitchen could use the inventory to suggest things that I should cook, remind me to throw away things that have been sitting around for far too long, and could make shopping lists for me.