Smart German Supermarket


The BBC has a video report about a German supermarket Future Store from German supermarket chain, Real.

Rather than use RFID tags to do the scanning of all the stuff in your shopping trolley (that’s ‘cart’ to you folks over the Atlantic), they’ve gone for a mobile phone solution. Basically you take photos of all the bar codes and their phone software generates one master bar code that you scan back in (very meta-media that) at the end in order to pay.

They do use RFID tags for their ‘smart freezers’, which know what meat has been taken out and sold. But the best feature, which requires very little in the way of tech, is the self-service wine-tasting. That’s a really smart idea.

My supermarket here in Germany doesn’t take credit cards, only EC Cards and Germany is a very paper and cash oriented culture I’ve found. I wonder how this will pan out… Personally I’ve really been enjoying the whole Richard Scarry small town experience with a baker and a butcher, etc., all of whom know me.

(Via Core77).

The Future of Broadcasting and the BBC


Although I still agree with much of Mark Pesce’s take on the Future of Television, Stephen Fry neatly sums up the worth of the BBC in an interesting speech he gave:

You know when you visit another country and you see that it spends more money on flowers for its roundabouts than we do, and you think … coo, why don’t we do that? How pretty. How pleasing. What a difference it makes. To spend money for the public good in a way that enriches, gives pleasure, improves the quality of life, that is something. That is a real achievement. It’s only flowers in a roundabout, but how wonderful. Well, we have the equivalent of flowers in the roundabout times a million: the BBC enriches the country in ways we will only discover when it has gone and it is too late to build it up again. We actually can afford the BBC, because we can’t afford not to.

(Photo: Povoa_de_Varzim on Flickr)