Google GOOSE is a product I came up with during a marketing exercise. We were asked to think of a new product from a well-established brand that could fulfil customers satisfaction. Please note that the GOOSE product is purely fictional. I don't work at Google and the following product description is not endorsed by Google or any of its employees.
Shopping is a time consuming process; the rhythm of our lives, jobs and other activities goes so fast that we hardly find time to shop properly. The current technologies provide us solutions to speed up the process by shopping online. But even online, shopping remains a task that involves some effort, thinking and time for every purchase. Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing it; or you got a lot of other things to do. Further, we are sometimes so busy that we may just forget to do it.
Another thing is that it may be such a pain. Sure, it's fun to shop for new clothes and shoes. But it’s not fun to go get vegetables and meat every week.
What if you could just decide once what should be there in your fridge at all times and not worry about it again? You could just have what you want at all time without having to regularly spend the effort, time and thinking that food shopping require. And that's what the new Google Supply Search Engine (GOOSE) is all about.
The GOOSE (GOOgle Supply search Engine) is a software platform for a new technology of home fridges which systematically:
- knows what food items you need
- knows when it's missing from your fridge
- check the best offers for those items on the internet
- order the missing food online
- trigger the delivery of those items back to your fridge (actually to your doorstep)
How it works
- On the server side:
The GOOSE consists of a web service where each customer can register and provides a list of the items he needs at all times. The customer can also set special items that will be only delivered under specific circumstances (for example, a birthday cake to be delivered only once at a particular date). All that information is stored in the GOOSE database.
The customer can also set on which frequency he wants his fridge to be filled up, say every Friday afternoon. So, when the time comes, the GOOSE web service orders the missing items that had been communicated from the shop the customer indicates. But an interesting thing is that the customer can give the freedom to the service to choose from which shop to buy. It obviously can’t be too far from the customer home but the key is that the GOOSE service can compare the offers from different shops and choose the best offer. The goods are then delivered to the customer's house.
- On the client side:
The GOOSE software works on a new model of home fridge system that contains some special components:
- A touch screen device for the user to set up his options. The screen also let the user see and choose the promotional offers that Google sends him, (by the way, this brings additional revenues since advertisers can pay to show some ads to the users).
- Additionally, all the user inputs can also be done from a regular computer system which is connected to the GooSE account of the said customer. All the changes made will be updated to the GooSE database and communicated back to the fridge and vice-versa.
- The fridge is equipped with some devices that track the fridge content and the checks in and checks out of any food items. Those devices are mainly camera, infrared devices and sensors. Bar codes could also be used to identify complex items.
The software would have to interact with the internet for online purchasing and content recognition to some extent. This means the fridge should have access to a Wi-Fi connection. The insides of the fridge would have to be made in a specific matter for content recognition. For example the egg tray, the compartments for bread, vegetables and fruits need to fit a small sensor to recognize if the item is present or not. For example, a beam of light could be cut when a particular product is present uninterrupted when the product is absent. However this wouldn’t completely solve the problem as the software would have to recognize what kind of item is present. For example if we take the case of fruits and vegetables, the software would have to know which fruit or vegetable it is, this could be done by having a camera in your fridge which is also capable of counting the number of fruits or vegetables .A barcode reader could be used for those items that come with a bar code. Barcode readers and cameras can be integrated in their usage. Once the camera recognizes the barcode it is then sent online and checked with online databases. The same technology applies for the barcode reader application on Smartphone’s.
Now that we have come to an understanding on how content is recognized, what do we do with this information? Based on this information a shopping list is generated and stored temporarily until next purchase is made. The shopping list can also be categorized based on various sections such as:
o Most wanted items such as soft drinks or any item the customer would be keen on having at all times.
o Least important items which are items that are customer or not very particular they should have at all times.
o Short lived items such as milk and other such products that have a short life span. The software would display the date on which the last purchase was made and would give you the option to add the number of days for which that product would expire.
The software would also be capable of reminding you prior to the day of expiry that the item needs to be consumed.
When the software comes to use for the first time a general shopping list is created regardless of categories. Google having kept every bit of information of past purchases then gradually learns what type of customer you are and offers a shopping list based on auto categorization which you either accept or deny.
Potential customer base:
Goose is a software product that searches and orders food items, based on the purchase history of the items which were previously stored in the fridge. It automatically searches and orders the product on a scheduled date, so people who are working could use it at their convenience.Further GOOSE mainly targets
- The young people, who are the most familiar with the internet technology and online shopping. It would perfectly fit students who move away from their parents and are not used to food shopping.
- The parents, who are responsible for their whole family food supply and sometimes have a hard time dealing with it (especially the single parents).
- The developed countries: places with high internet penetration and widely spread home delivery.
- Additionally, GOOSE could equally assist both genders: men are typically the most uncomfortable with food shopping so it could be a great help to them. Conversely, women who often have all the burden of this task would be relieved in a high extent.
Our product Goose doesn’t order the product in the single store, it compares the product in the many stores available in the market and automatically order the cheapest or best product. However, some stores can be promoted by paying some advertisement fee. That would be the second form of profit for GOOSE after the fridge software licensing fees.
The first challenge met in the implementation would be for Google to find a partner that would manufactures the fridges that would support the GOOSE System, as Google is not in the hardware industry. It should be fairly feasible to collaborate with a well establish fridge manufacturer (like LG, Samsung, etc.) thanks to the notoriety of Google as a brand.
Another challenge would be the market penetration. A lot of market research need to be done to know how to build a satisfying product and once the product is ready, it will need to be promoted. But promotion is not really a problem, Google is the king of online advertisement after all.