On 21st March, retailers, consumers and environmental and food experts had the opportunity to get an overview of the ASSET project and get a feel of the mobile app. We had lots of interesting discussions and got good and useful input for the future. Depending on the perspective, either from a consumer’s or retailer’s point of view, the ASSET app offers different interesting aspects.

What do consumers want?
One of the most interesting features for consumers is the direct comparison of 2 or more products with one click. Also, the possibility of defining individual ranking criteria that can be changed quickly adds a dimension that cannot be found elsewhere. This way, the ASSET app seems to be able to fulfill the consumer’s need to make shopping decisions that fit their current life situation as well as a wish to get more background information on products. Shopping for a sugar free diet as well as finding palm-oill free products can both be equally supported. The most important aspects from a consumer’s point of view for further developement are independence, transparency, intuitive usability and, of course, data protection.

What do retailers want?
For retailers, the app can be interesting for overcoming the lack of space in the shop for providing additional information. Even without installing the localisation tool in every single store, the ASSET app still seems to be a potentially useful service for customers. A data coverage of at least 80% of the product sortiment should be ensured, however, to avoid frustration of users.

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2ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

For the second general assembly the consortium met with the advisory board again in Tartu, Estonia. While testing the app directly in the store, also the advisory board got a good impression of the progress of the project. The consortium could test the improvements of the app that had been added since the last project meeting in Estonia. Now, last preparations are being made for the start of the second field test.

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SOCIAL IMPACT DATA HACK 2017

The University of Tartu organised a datathon from 10th to 12th November 2017 with people of all ages and students from various universities. ETH Zürich offered sponsoring for the task “ASSET challenge: Smart Sustainable Shopping”. BIA and COOP offered guidance and mentoring for the participants. With three groups taking on the challenge, this topic was the most popular amongst in the event. Apart from the fun and interesting experience that all the participants had in the event, the ASSET project got valuable input for possible additional data sources on products or brands.

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The ASSET project was invited to host a workshop at the Ethical Consumer Conference 2017 in London.
The Ethical Consumer Organization is working on providing product ratings for consumers for more than 25 years, ASSET used this opportunity to involve interested participants and experts for contributing to individual product ratings ASSET offers to its users.
It was a very valueable conference and also a great opportunity to share visions and spirits.

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/conference2017

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TESTING THE APP

After successfully installing all the beacons, the team is finally ready to test the app. After a quick introduction into the app, the team members start walking around the shop and trying out the different locations. With the “find me” button, the app is automatically suggesting the product groups that are in the shelves in front of the phone. Except for a few minor improvements that are needed, we are all excited to see that the localisation is working. With this result, we are all looking forward to the next field test with consumers.

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After bringing all the equipment to the store, the most important task is the positioning of the beacons. Different places have to be tested for the beacons to ensure the best functionality for the localisation module. Another important aspect for the positioning is to find hiding places, so customers don’t get distracted during their shopping. With the help of the beacons, the ASSET App is able to localise the consumers position in the store and consequently help with their shopping decision without scanning every single product. On the pictures you can see how the beacons look like and how the project team managed to mount them on the shelves.

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After 1 ½ years of hard programming work, the project is finally starting to take shape in the supermarket. The ASSET team is excited to meet in the shop for the first time to discuss the setting of the field test. We are unpacking the technical equipment (beacons) needed for the localization unit and identifying the last tasks before the trial of the app can be started with test users. For the first field test, the technical functionalities of the app will be tested and evaluated. The results of this tests will help us to perfect the system for testing it in real shopping situations.

 

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Digital technologies and the Internet are rapidly changing the opportunities we have to address some of society’s biggest challenges. Across Europe, a growing movement of people are exploring these opportunities, which range from creating digital platforms to setting up social networks for people with chronic health conditions or developing online communities where citizens can map and share data on pollution levels and climate change in their areas.
DSI has the great potential to contribute to three of the most important challenges facing Europe today by reinventing:

  • Public services, often providing lower-cost models of addressing social needs.
  • Communities and how people live and collaborate together.
  • Business in ways that are better aligned with human needs.

The Manifesto for Digital Social Innovation (DSI) is an initiative promoted by the EU project ChiC* with the collaboration of the DSI4EU project and several other European innovators. It tries to address the above issues by fostering civic participation by promoting active citizenship!

https://www.dsimanifesto.eu/manifesto/

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MIDTERM EVALUATION

After finishing the first prototype of the mobile phone app and first tests in the supermarket, we are happy to announce the successful midterm evaluation of the ASSET project. Updates on the first field test and other project developments will follow soon.

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