E Reichelt Supermarkt
interactive tools GmbH
What was Karlmax’s role in the project?
We developed the Android app according to our partner’s interactive tools and in later phases of the project also took over maintenance for the iOS and Android apps.
Why does the user need the app?
Because the shopping list has always been mobile.
What can the app do?
Edeka Reichelt Supermarket is an app that spares the user from making endless shopping lists. The cornerstones of the app are the supermarket’s current offers. The user can save and send shopping lists with ease. And as well as this, ingredients from the integrated recipe database can be included, one’s own wishes added, or scanned via barcode. The final wishlist of products can then be sent via text message or Email to one’s partner—or whichever flatmate whose job it is this week to do the shopping. But whoever it is doing the shopping, the store finder with GPS support always knows the nearest shopping possibility and displays opening times and services on offer.
The store finder of the E-Reichelt app included a special technical feature. GPS location is known, as are the coordinates of the nearest shop – but whether it’s not only the nearest but also the easiest to get to? The hurdle lay in finding out which was the easiest to reach by foot.
The shopping list element also presented its own challenges. The app user should be able to put this together not only manually, but also through barcode scanner, current offers, or from a suggested recipe.
All of these features are dependent on the hardware, and all only work with good satellite reception—or a camera with autofocus—something that, when we began the project, wasn’t a foregone conclusion.
How did we proceed?
The distance between two points is always a straight line? Not in this case. One important requirement from the side of the user was that the distance shown to the nearest shop was the walking distance, not as the crow flies. For this we needed to know firstly the exact location of the user (via GPS) and secondly the walking directions to all nearby markets—this is where Google came in useful. Only then could we present the list of the closest places for the weekly shop, a job for the UI. Here we learnt just how much the quality of sensors in various devices can vary, an important lesson for future projects. The fastest smartphones found their location in milliseconds, while at the other end of the spectrum another device needed minutes to figure out which country the user was standing in. In the second case the only remedy was patience, but we also needed to slow the faster smartphones down, before their geolocator turned their telephone into a pocket warmer.
Behind the scenes or: How do you test a barcode scanner?
In your right hand a smartphone, in your left a bottle of water. And then? Here we go. Just how many water bottles I scanned through the period of the project, I couldn’t honestly say. The only thing I know for sure is that after my shopping list tests in the quality control phase, no one in the office was in danger of dying of thirst.