OpenIDEO by James McBennett: Interactive Shelving

That thin slice of shelf that faces consumers with analogue pricing information can be brought into the 21st century as a read/write communication between man and food. A new potential to display data about food far beyond price.

Following on from Tom Hulme’s idea “Window to the farm”
I have looked into modifying the supermarket shelf.

A low cost version using only LED lights and basic controls could be made, but a full on touchscreen would create a rich media platform for consumers and producers to have a conversation.

Microsoft provide us with an interesting digital future supermarket in this video at 0:55 a man reduces product pricing on a tablet, altering price of all items in the store, updating the shelves digital screens.

Default display might be price, but upon touching the screens one see more information, changing the display of the individual product, or the entire food group on the shelves. For example, a customer might switch the displays from price to ‘distance traveled to market’ changing the entire shelf to temporarily display miles, not price.

Other options include..
1. Customer feedback and comments.
2. Like buttons.
3. Share this product on your facebook/twitter.
4. Price History
5. (@Meena Kadri) Nutritional Comparison between products
6. (@Meena Kadri) Goes Well With… (customer vetted?)
7. (@Meena Kadri) Hyper-local Index (yet to be invented? but to include distance, collaboration between producers, *local* recycle, repurpose, up-cycling, etc)
8.(@Meena Kadri)Search a specific shelf for a particular ingredient. (Useful for those with Allergies.)
9.(@Arjan Tupan) Foorprint:
10: Third party recommendations. What does the Guardian Newspaper or Jamie Oliver recommend or the Goodguide.

OpenIDEO by James McBennett: The Life of a ___________

The beginning of “Lord of War,” shows a beautiful short film intro named “The Life of a Bullet.” WARNING: THE END OF THE ‘LORD OF WAR INTRO’ VIDEO CAN BE TOUGH TO WATCH. PLEASE DO NOT VIEW IF THIS MAY DISTURB YOU. I do not support the activities of the arms trade or war.

Made in a factory before proceeding on its journey sold from various military powers, landing in the hands of African rebels, finally fired through the forehead of a armed young child. The films tells the story of an object’s life from it’s very beginnings to it end. The Life of French Fries is shown below. (A film edited from other film footage, notably Supersize me, and How’s it made: Frozen French Fries.)

Milk comes from a cow, how many of you would include a cows pregnancy and birth of a calf in the process of producing milk. It won’t happen otherwise. These films are created to show what goes into creating food and bringing to consumption. They could be made for various products from Dairy to Vegetables to the more complex microwave dinner.

1. Farm/Growth/Seasons.
2. Manufacturing/Processing
3. Packaging
4. Delivery and Supply
5. Store.
6. Purchase and transport of the good home.
7. Consumption.
8. Overall effect on society.

Films are made to praise those who contribute positive impact to our diets and criticize those who take from it. A viral campaign benefits from criticism establishing trust and enlarging the audience. It is hoped organisations could be approached who are positive “impact organisations” to fund the project.

Look forward to your comments!

This idea combines with the “Tangled Routes Exhibit”


I initiated TEDx at Goodenough College in 2011 to highlight and spread some of the amazing thinkers who live with me. I have been extremely fortunate to discuss ideas about all aspects of life every night at dinner, I can share some of them with the world. The videos below have collectively received 15,000+ hits proving the idea was very much a success.

TED2012 Full Spectrum: A Question for Brick

For the TED2012 Full Spectrum audition, I asked a question to “brick” inspired by the great architect Louis Kahn whom also had a question for his brick. Kahn asked, “What do you want, Brick?” Brick answered “I would like to be an arch.”

I asked Brick, “What form do you want to be, given the recent advances digital manufacturing?”