I am not big on navigating inside large stores or malls. There are a few Home Depots in my area that I am pretty familiar with, and can find my way through the old fashioned way. But what if you are in a completely new retail “facility?” Do you rely on guidance from the often young and inexperienced salesperson? Do you panic, crawl into corner, and hope store security can locate and rescue you? Not the ideal solution.
But there’s hope in the future… Scientists at Penn State and their geeky collegues in South Korea are developing a system that will guide us to the products we desperately need! In order to actually describe the technology of this invention, I would have to use words like “radio frequency tags”, “low-power radio frequency” and “photodiodes”… but no need. Here’s a shortcut to the gist of the system: You enter the store with your smart phone (yes, it requires that gizmo, so get with the program), input the name of product you are looking for, this product will transmit a signal that will be received by your device and, voila, you know where to go! (There are other potential uses for this system, such as museums or large buildings. Can you just “imagine the possibilities,” as our friends at Mastercard would say?)
What a “real world” fantastic use for a seemingly “out there” technology. And isn’t that what it should all be about!