With food allergies, shopping in the grocery store can be a minefield. It can also be difficult if you’re counting calories or trying to go gluten-free.
Swiss tech company Scandit hopes to solve these problems by putting information in the consumers’ hands. Their technology allows shoppers to use their smartphones to scan products on grocery shelves and helps pinpoint items that help meet their dietary needs.
Shoppers will be able to narrow down what they’re looking for in an app similar to how they filter products when buying and browsing online.
Retailers will be able to choose what types of information they want to offer. When customers open the store app, they will see different categories — such as lactose- or nut-free — and can click on what interests them.
Then, when they aim their smartphones at a grocery case, icons will pop up on the device’s screen, hovering over items that meet their dietary requirements.
“Standing in front of shelves filled with hundreds of items can be an intimidating experience,” Scandit CEO Samuel Mueller said. “Instead of picking the best item, many shoppers just give up and pick the most familiar one. (Augmented reality) filtering enables shoppers to quickly see beyond the shelves and into the products themselves so they can find exactly what they want in the most efficient way.”
Scandit expects some U.S. grocery stores to roll out the new feature in the next six to nine months.