Innovation That Matters

Scanning device lets shoppers perform in-store search for physical items


Store device enables shoppers to quickly find what they're looking for by scanning similar items.


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For large stores and DIY outlets with a wide inventory of similar products, customers can get confused looking for a particular item. This often causes customers to leave without buying anything. Germany’s Findbox is a kiosk that aims to avoid this scenario by acting as a digital assistant that can locate the items they need. The device features a scanner that can recognize 3D objects. Shoppers can use the device to quickly find what they’re looking for in-store by scanning similar items.

For example, if customers needs to replace a particular type of lightbulb, they can take an old one into the store and scan it. The device will then tell them if it’s in stock, and which aisle and shelf it’s on. The Findbox also offers up similar items in-store. Customers can scan any product to see what other related options are available to them. Otherwise, they can also search manually by keyword using the device’s touchscreen. Either way, the kiosk offers up rich information — brand, specifications, price — to help customers make a decision.

Additionally, Findbox’s LightGuide wireless product tags can replace the usual paper price labels on the shelves of smaller stores. When customers search for an item using the scanning device, the tags light up showing them exactly where they are.

We recently wrote about a similar innovation called Partpic, an app that scans components and locates where to buy them. Findbox brings this capability to high street stores. The device helps customers more quickly find what they’re looking for. It also allows businesses to reduce lost sales, free up staff and upsell related products. Are there other ways for brick and mortar stores to more efficiently direct shoppers to what they need?



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