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Electronics patent of the month: Smart glasses reading dynamic price info | Electronics Weekly

One of the UK’s leading supermarkets, Asda positions itself as providing good value for money and pricing its branded products cheaper than its main competitors. One way it tries to achieve this is by constantly monitoring the price of products in the marketplace and adjusting its own accordingly. Other supermarkets also practise dynamic pricing.

This can cause logistical difficulties, since the price of products sold in a supermarket is typically displayed on printed labels which are manually inserted into the customer facing edge of display shelves. These shelf-edge labels often include promotional offers and as and when a store changes the price of an item, they must be replaced. Although some electronic shelf-edge labels can be centrally updated, these have not been widely adopted due to their cost and susceptibility to damage.

Consequently, keeping displayed prices up to date is an onerous task which is prone to error, which can lead to customers being over or under charged for their goods.

A great amount of thought is put into the layout and interior appearance of stores, since the visual appeal of products can directly impact sales. However, the shelf appeal of individual items is currently assessed by means of simple visual inspection, which can be arbitrary and which is done without any guidance on how they should be displayed.

Asda’s invention uses a wearable device, such as a pair of smart glasses including a camera, to survey shelf-edge labels and barcodes in order to check that the correct product label is being displayed.

This involves extracting identification information from the shelf-edge label and using this to obtain the current price for that item from the store’s central price server.

Once the price has been retrieved from the server it is displayed on the smart glasses’ display allowing the wearer to quickly check any discrepancy between the two prices. If a discrepancy is found, a corrective task can be generated and displayed on a second wearable device, which could be smart watch.

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Electronics patent of the month: Smart glasses reading dynamic price info.