Intelligent video advertisements coming to your grocery store

It’s official. Grocery stores are starting to install electronic video screens in their isles in an effort to advertise products as you walk by. Within the last week, some Safeway stores have started installing these intelligent video advertisements in its stores all across Silicon Valley. Not only are do these advertisements have video screens; they also come complete with speakers and even motion sensors.

That’s right, the new video advertisement units in Safeway stores detect when a person is walking by. That is how it intelligently decides when to play an advertisement, and when to make audible noise. The first time I’ve seen one of these systems was today, as I walked in an isle which was fairly empty. All of the sudden I heard a noise, and sure enough, I saw a video screen playing an advertisement for cleaners.

Are we headed towards a dark future where advertisements profile people on the fly and select appropriate advertisements? The answer is almost certainly yes. It is only a matter of time before these systems can distinguish men from woman, and even features of individuals. In theory, these systems could soon determine if you are a man without a wedding ring, or a man who is balding so it can tailor advertisements specifically for you. Safeway has taken the very first step by putting motion sensors on their computerized advertisements in grocery stores.

Posted under Shopping, Technology

This post was written by admin on September 13, 2008

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Buying in bulk saves you cash!

Buying in bulk is one of the easier ways to save money. Many products are packaged in several different ways. For example, you might notice that there are several different sizes of ketchup bottles in your grocery store. Other examples include shampoo, toothpaste, and even cereal. Sometimes, buying in bulk doesn’t make much sense, especially if the item is perishable, like milk. But most of the time, buying in bulk makes a lot of sense if you want to save money.

Above is an example of a situation I faced just last week. As you can see, the container on the left is nearly twice the size as the one on the right, yet only costs $1.10 more. Due to the size and price differences between the two shampoos, it turns out that the larger bottle of shampoo costs about 39% less than the smaller bottle, when measuring in dollars per fluid ounce. The best thing about this scenario is that I use shampoo every time I shower, and there is a 100% chance that I’m eventually going to use all the shampoo I bought. It makes very little sense to pay more for a smaller bottle of shampoo.

How much can this one instance of buying larger packaged products save per year? Let’s find out! Suppose I use 23.7 Fl. Oz. of shampoo every two months, to make the math easier.

Amount spent if large container is bought throughout the year:

23.7 * 12 * 5.99 / ( 23.7 * 2 ) = $35.94 / year

Amount spent if smaller container is bought throughout the year:

23.7 * 12 * 4.89 / ( 12 * 2 ) = $57.95 / year

Total savings by buying the larger item:

57.95 – 35.94 = $22.01 / year

And there you have it, folks! In this example scenario, you can save $22.01 each year just buy buying the larger shampoo bottle. Of course, this can be applied to all sorts of products. If your local grocery store doesn’t display price / ounce on their products, the best thing you can do is bring a calculator with you when you go shopping. It may take slightly longer to get groceries, but in the long run, it’s worth it. One store which is absolutely great for buying in bulk is Costco. Even though Costco charges you a nice fat membership fee every year, the store is absolutely great for buying in bulk and saving huge amounts of money.

Posted under Saving Money

This post was written by admin on August 6, 2008

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