IBM product finder

Smart navigation to where you want to go

Cognitive systems in conjunction with Deep MapTM technology

Where is the shower gel, and how do I get to the bakery section? In large supermarkets in particular, looking for products can be stressful and time-consuming. Indoor positioning and navigation software shows customers the fastest route to the product group they are looking for.

Technical infrastructure based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

The product finder can be used by anyone who has installed the supermarket app. All shoppers have to do is choose the desired product group from a list in the app. The app then connects to IBM Watson IOT via an interface and retrieves the current position of the RFID tag identifying their shopping cart. A QR code links the shopper to the cart, making it possible to display their current location as well as the most direct route to the product group they wish to find. Only the RFID tag on the shopping cart is used to locate the user – neither the shoppers themselves nor their smartphones are located.

Indoor positioning is implemented via RFID antennas which query the position of the RFID tags once a second. Based on the signal strength, the antenna calculates the distance to each RFID tag and saves the distances to the server installed in the supermarket. The server then calculates the most likely position of the shopping cart based on all the distances provided by the antennas (using triangulation). The complex location data is stored by IBM Watson IoT as spreadsheets, but further processing is required to display the data.

Heidelberg Mobil’s contribution

The digital display of the supermarket sales area for the app is provided by Heidelberg Mobil. The map shows the position of all of the product segments and shelf space. The underlying Deep MapTM technology provides an interface with IBM Watson that makes it possible to create a spatial representation of Watson's abstract information.

The start point of the routing is the shopping cart, which is located through position tracking on the site plan, while the destination point is the selected product group. As shoppers make their way around the supermarket, their current position is recorded every second, and the shortest route to the destination point is calculated and displayed as a routing graph on the map.