The augmented shopping trolley: An ambient display to provide shoppers with non-obvious product information

Jon Bird, V Kalnikaité, Yvonne Rogers
in CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Journal article


The Augmented Shopping Trolley consists of an ambient handlebar display connected to a scanner. When a shopper scans an item the handlebar lights up to provide them with information about the product, such as its nutritional, ethical or environmental attributes, that are not obvious from its packaging or label. The system is designed to seamlessly integrate with a shopping experience: it uses familiar supermarket technologies; it keeps both of a shopper's hands free; and the simple ambient display facilitates the 'fast and frugal' decision-making typically observed in a supermarket. Our initial lab-based study shows that the display can be understood at a glance and used to select items based on a product's nominal properties (for example, it is organic), ordinal properties (for example, it has low, medium or high food miles), as well as a combination of the two at the same time. Where as usability was the focus of our initial design, ethical issues have come to the fore as we develop the system for use in supermarkets and we discuss how these are influencing our design.