Nick Lansley’s Tech for blog is in my Google Reader subscriptions, it’s the sort of blog I like as Nick gives an insight into the technology goings on behind a company that probably everyone in the UK is familiar with. The interesting part is seeing new technology being considered and used as part of a highly successful business and knowing that it could provide improvements to the way we shop or interact with the company.

I had previously followed Nick’s blog after seeing him present the Tesco application created with Conchango at Microsoft’s PDC2008. Since then, the opening up of the API had been announced along with a prototype ‘Beauty Room’ Silverlight app amongst other things of interest. I hoped to get on the API bandwagon to create an app where items in the kitchen could have their barcode scanned, or if they come with RFID tags, could be detected and potential recipes be suggested for that evening or even suggest items to add to the shopping list to increase the number of recipe suggestions.

My app thoughts aside, there is another channel for those wishing to create applications linking into Tesco, how about an iPhone application? On Nick’s blog, the latest post talks about how are open to creating an iPhone app and have asked the developer community to continue and create their own apps which will also have access to the checkout as will the official app. Nick makes it clear that the official app won’t have any “…secret privileged access to our service so will not present an ‘unfair advantage’ over third party apps.” So all the more reason to continue working on your apps. The application the team will be working on aims to be a simple one which can do the basics of shopping well. This leaves the door open for others to create apps with funky features such as data visualisation, list suggestions, connecting with other online to-do apps and information sources to create unique and engaging apps.

Now, if anyone is reading this, how about a app which compares items in your shopping basket, with the deals listings on and other offer sites to see if you could make a saving elsewhere or even suggest Tesco deals from Hot UK Deals that may be of interest depending on which section of the store you are browsing, eg. If I was in the Dairy section of the app/site/API, a search would be run on Hot UK Deals for items relating to Tesco’s dairy selection and then display this at the top or bottom of the page or a small star with a number superimposed, denoting the number of offers available which, upon tapping/clicking would display the offers.

Read the post on Nick Lansley’s blog.

By Viran

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