Manufacturers usually have to wait for their sales figures to appear before they can detect the success, or otherwise, of some product line.
Today’s invention allows information about the satisfaction of large numbers of real customers to be gathered. This aspect of marketing is sometimes forgotten in the rush to move on to the next shiny product…but what customers think post ownership is increasingly important in the race to build brands.
It consists of a waste bin equipped with a cameraphone. Items of packaging which were just about to be thrown away are briefly passed in front of the phone’s camera which can image their barcodes and allow the soon-to-be-former owner to express their satisfaction with their purchase in a variety of different ways (depending on how much time they have available and how incandescent with rage they have become).
These expressions could start at the level of scrolling to click a happy or sad icon (a little like the wall units found in motorway toilets). It would also be possible to provide more information, if the user desired, about eg how easy the product had been to open or use and about the value obtained.
This would then all be communicated back to head office via the normal cellphone system. A server would interpret the barcode image and link the code to details of the product.