Featured Startup: Blink Media Presents an Innovative Shopping Experience

At Proto we met with an exciting bunch of youngsters with what seemed to be a very intriguing product. Hemang, Devang and Sawan from the Mumbai based Blink Media showcased their ‘Intelligent Shopping Cart‘ prototype at Proto4 in Delhi a couple of months back. And if the demo of the product was anything to go by, we were definitely left impressed with what they had to show.

In fact, we got them to give us a complete demonstration of their shopping cart for you guys to see and also had a small talk on how they think their product will make lives easier for shoppers, retailers as well as advertisers.

Blink’s product is based on the simple premise that, shopping decisions are made on the shop floor and not at home in front of the TV. Therefore, even advertising and product pitches should be made at the same time. Their shopping cart offers a lot of intuitive features to make shopping easy for shoppers while giving ample opportunities to promote sales offers for advertisers. Happy customers, better advertising mean happy retailers and happy blink media. The idea certainly seems great, but will the larger mass lap it up just as well?

Anyway, it was certainly great to see some pure play product innovation from an Indian company. Here is the video of the demo of what we think is an iPhone meets contextual advertising meets shopping case.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5psujp_xduU

Blink was one of the shortlisted startups at Proto Delhi. For more videos from Proto and the digital media industry in general make sure you catch WATshow every week.

10 Responses to “Featured Startup: Blink Media Presents an Innovative Shopping Experience”

  1. September 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    One of the coolest products :) Interesting and eye catchy UI….

    -Himanshu Sheth

  2. Surabhi
    September 4, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    Definately Blink’s product looks impressive ( I have seen demo in Proto) but few questions are not yet answered !! Manessh help me answer these probably I have missed out few strings !

    - Space Crunch how will it be managed with these shopping carts ? We will need big floor space as one might be so engrossed surfing all the ads n offers on the cart’s panel and would result in a jam in the shopping aisle.

    - Maintainence of the expensive technology as its gonaa move from one customer’s hand to another.Will supermarket allow to take me this cart till parking and dump goodies in my vehicle and leave the cart unattended there ??

  3. September 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks Himanshu.. appreciate the comments.

    Hi Surabhi,
    thanks for the questions..

    a. on Space Crunch – We’re targeting large format stores for this version of the product – which means wider aisles & enough space for people to make the most of the interactive features on the device..

    also, our objective is not to replace the physical brick & mortar experience of shopping but to enhance it. to expect shoppers to be staring at the screen at all times would be too presumptuous..(though the retailers / advertisers would love it.)

    b. issues around Maintenance / Operations – There are 3 core issues here – How do we make the system:
    1. Theft Proof
    2. Baby Proof
    3. Weather Proof

    We’ve analyzed these problems – and most of the answers are found through our approach to design.. If you notice there is a tablet which rests on the cart handle. its a detachable tablet.. i cannot disclose more here, but the system has been tested and it works :)

    so in short, you’ll be able to take the cart right up to the parking lot and the retailer won’t have to worry abt device safety etc.

    hope this helps,

    thanks.

    - devang

  4. September 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm #

    @Himanshu: thanks :)

    @Surabhi: thank you for the comments.
    Firstly, the aisles in Indian supermarkets are large enough for two carts to easily pass by one another, so it wouldn’t really matter whether you have stopped looking at a product or playing around with blink :)

    and secondly, if you watch the video closely, you would notice that blink is designed as a tablet which can be pulled out of the shopping cart handle as you exit the store. You can then simply take the cart to your car minus blink!

  5. September 4, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    thanks maneesh.. have been trying to figure out what these guys were upto for quite sometime now, ever since i heard abt them from those who attended proto..couldn’t get details from the site..
    from what has been shown, its awesome and i think there’s great value for the buyer, retailer and the advertiser.. all the features look extremely cool, and more importantly helpful to the shopper..
    meanwhile, a couple of quick queries.. how is the ‘blink’ system connected to the store’s inventory? eg. if i choose a particular flavor of say, gatorade, will the system know whether it’s in stock/displayed on the shelf?
    also, is my data portable… as a shopper, does the card shown in the beginning work with any store that has a blink system, or is it store specific?

  6. Surabhi
    September 5, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Hey Devang …tablet approach seems to be good and workable and really good idea !!!! But however I m not convinced with space crunch issue ……….My experience with biggest supermarkets giants ..store 18 ,bigbazaar,reliance fresh, spencer ,Subhiksha, Max ,Dollor shop and so on …….really makes me wonder Blink solution have to be very store specific when it comes to real time use !! But I hope this should not bother storekeeper and u guys should rock on !! Best of luck !!!!!

  7. Renu
    September 5, 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    Great product, guys! Really liked the idea of seeing the previous times’s grocery list.

    But what about perishables? Dals and bread and eggs and veggies etc? Will those be updated as often as they fluctuate? And certainly you won’t have any advertisers there anyway? I ask because i buy toileteries etc once a month and fresh groceries every week.

    And its in this fresh stuff that I have the most trouble keeping track of prices, and end up buying stuff and getting horrified after coming home.

    Anyway, overall – real cool.

    Renu
    PS: Devang – you could do with a haircut, you know.

  8. September 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    surabhi: thanks for the feedback..

    renu: all items/skus in the store are covered.. this includes non-branded items as well. and they’re updated real time..
    so you don’t have to worry bout that..

    abt the latter part your note. we’ve had a major upgrade and the initial response is positive. but thanks anyway.. ;)

    also, do vote for us at NEN Hottest Startups
    (link: http://www.hotteststartups.in/viewandvote.do?method=fetch&businessFn=viewandvote&startupId=57)

    thanks!

  9. September 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm #

    Why is my blog not accepting my own comments. everytime I tryt he sql on line 124 runs away ..

    Hmm.. anyway, thanks for participating so well, specially to the blink guys who took time to clarify everyone’s questions…

    good one..

  10. Merty
    October 31, 2009 at 5:21 am #

    Since the last september there were no post so I am wondering how is the project evolving and where could we assist improvements of your work. any site maybe?

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