Yesterday, I took a look at the Walmart maps being offered to shoppers for Black Friday by the Massachusetts store cited in our APB post today. Looking like every other Walmart floor plan that the retailer stamps into the landscape around the country, I got to thinking about how I’d want my "shopping map" to look like. If I were to be lured to the 4:00 a.m. low, low prices, obsequious to the will of the mega-retailers on that fateful day after Thanksgiving, this is how I would want to start my hunt for the ultimate door-busting bargains.
First, I’d want my car navigation system (let’s go with a Garmin…I’m partial to their PNDs) equipped with the locations of every retailer and their hours of operation on BF (yes, Black Friday).
Next, I’d map out the route to each store allowing just enough time to scarf-up the best sale items at each.
However, this is predicated by having a map of each floor plan for each retailer loaded onto my Blackberry (sorry, I’m a business guy…don’t do iPhone schtick). Perhaps we could get the good folks at uLocate to work on this for the Where application.
Next, the retailers would have to allow the floor plans to be tagged with the location of the best sale items. This might be similar to what the rather crude Walmart map provides, but please, we are a bit more sophisticated in our geospatial awareness these days, so let’s have better precision, right? I’m thinking that there should be some RFID device for each item and a shopping cart that synch’s via Bluetooth to my Blackberry to navigate around the store. Whenever the cart passes along the isle with the most sought-after gadgets, my Blackberry provides the alert and I’m directed appropriately.
Having snagged the item from the shelf, I’m then provided with a traffic map of the store floor, whisking my buggy to route around the bulging crowds to the nearest cash register with the fewest in line. This is micro-geography at its finest.
My items are scanned as I zoom past the counter, swipe my credit card, and I’m out the door…on to the next BF adventure.
I’m headed to the parking lot where I’m met with a swarm of hungry, sleep-deprived shoppers, goodness knows where I parked my car. But in the perfect geospatial world, I am directly by voice commands by my PND to the location of my space and my car is automatically unlocked as I approach with a cart-load of gifts, recognizing of course that my bio sensor-equipped vehicle knows my proximal location.
Safely inside, I rev the engine and I’m off to the next store, real-time traffic and weather guiding my every move. And because I’ve integrated my PND with geo-located Twitter feeds, I’m getting updates on new bargains in the vicinity. I’m re-routed as necessary…my Christmas shopping list consulted and advised.
In a perfect world…Have a great Thanksgiving.