3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks

Research Article

A Wearable Wireless RFID System for Accessible Shopping Environments

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/ICST.BODYNETS2008.2921,
        author={Sreekar Krishna and Vineeth Balasubramanian and Narayanan Chatapuram Krishnan and Colin Juillard and Terri Hedgpeth and Sethuraman Panchanathan},
        title={A Wearable Wireless RFID System for Accessible Shopping Environments},
        proceedings={3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks},
        keywords={Accessible shopping environment Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Bluetooth Database Systems Human computer interface},
  • Sreekar Krishna
    Vineeth Balasubramanian
    Narayanan Chatapuram Krishnan
    Colin Juillard
    Terri Hedgpeth
    Sethuraman Panchanathan
    Year: 2010
    A Wearable Wireless RFID System for Accessible Shopping Environments
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.BODYNETS2008.2921
Sreekar Krishna1,*, Vineeth Balasubramanian1,*, Narayanan Chatapuram Krishnan1,*, Colin Juillard1,*, Terri Hedgpeth1,*, Sethuraman Panchanathan1,*
  • 1: Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC), Arizona State University 699 S Mill Ave Tempe AZ – 85281 Ph: (480) 727 3612 Fax: (480) 965 1885
*Contact email: Sreekar.krishna@asu.edu, Vineeth.nb@asu.edu, Narayanan.ck@asu.edu, Colin.Juillard@asu.edu, Terrih@asu.edu, Panch@asu.edu


Present day shopping environments are centered around the needs of the consumer, and they aim to facilitate convenient access to different product lines varying from groceries to books to everyday electronics. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are examples of trends that have evolved providing a rich shopping experience. Unfortunately, such systems have been envisioned to cater to sighted customers and inadequately address the necessities of a person who is blind or visually impaired. In this work, we present a new system design that leverages the potential of emerging technologies like Electronic Product Code (EPC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to provide a wearable wireless device capable of delivering product information at real-time in order to enhance the shopping experience of customers who are visually impaired or blind. Various technologies have been proposed by earlier researchers to address the accessible shopping problem. In this paper, we have discussed each of these approaches, and analyzed their benefits and limitations, eliciting the motivation for a new design. Detailed descriptions of the various components of the proposed system are presented. An implementation of our system is illustrated with results from calibrated tests with wearable RFID readers and tags installed on various products. Studies of crucial design parameters like the variation of RFID reader sensitivity with orientation, range and material, along with system response time, are discussed to highlight the choice of technology elements in the design.