The Supermarket of the Future is a large grocery store featuring pioneering digital solutions developed by Carlo Ratti Associati and built by Coop Italia, Italy’s largest supermarket chain. The Supermarket of the Future represents a next step in Carlo Ratti Associati’s exploration of how data can promote more informed – and hopefully more sustainable – consumption patterns.
It incorporates facilities such as interactive food tables, smart shelves and real-time data visualizations, which will inform shoppers about the origins and characteristics of particular foodstuffs, promoting more informed consumption habits. The flagship store extends over a surface of 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet) and employs technologies first presented in a prototypical version by Carlo Ratti Associati at Milan’s World Expo 2015, in the framework of Coop Italia’s Future Food District pavilion.
At the Supermarket of the Future, more than 6,000 products are displayed on large interactive tables. As a shopper puts her hand close to a product, extra information about the food appears on a suspended digital mirror above – as in seamless augmented reality. Through these “augmented labels,” each product can communicate its nutritional properties, its origin, the presence of allergens, waste disposal instructions, correlated products and promotions and other data, potentially encouraging a stronger use of fresh, local products, and even new social links among people.