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RFID trials urge shoppers to kiss and make-up

Eyeshadowing you
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Eyeshadowing you

An RFID trial in Tokyo's upmarket Ginza shopping district is pushing the boundaries of item-level tagging by using the track and trace tech to give new insights into consumers' shopping behaviour.

A selection of make-up items including blusher, eyeshadow and lipstick have been tagged with RFID chips, with tag readers installed both in consumers' homes and at make-up counters selling Clé de Peau Beauté and Shiseido brands in two department stores.

Consumers pick up the chipped 'slap', take it to an in-store reader connected to a PC and access product information and user testimonials from the terminals. The terminals can also show a user how a given product might look when applied when a chipped sample is waved over the reader.

Department store staff have been equipped with tablet PCs to call up users' purchasing history and offer them 'e-counselling' on which products they should buy.

'Virtual home environments' will also be set up to allow consumers to interact with the tagged goods as they might at home - using the tags to call up product information, for example.

As well as exploring how individual users respond to item-level tagging, retailers will look into supply-chain applications - including embedding testers with chips to forecast demand for products.

The trial is in conjunction with Fujitsu and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It will run until the middle of February under the snappy title of '2007 Field Trial for Improving Distribution and Logistics Efficiency through the Use of Electronic Tags'.

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