At the beginning of 2017, I started work on four big ideas that may create substantial value: (1) improved experience for consumers shopping in physical stores, including "instant digital coupons," (2) securities trading, (3) financial payments, and (4) internet search. Patent applications were filed. And on May 22, 2018, the first patent (described below) was granted.

A discussion of these innovations will be included in a new book that I am developing; working title Discovering Insights. This book will contain a significant amount of new material that extends my earlier book, Reconstructing Your Worldview: The Four Core Beliefs You Need to Solve Complex Business Problems.  

All of the patents have been assigned to the Bartley J. Madden Foundation.

Optimizer Patent No. US 9,978,086, Systems and Methods Regarding Point-Of-Recognition
 Optimization of Onsite User Purchases at a Physical Location, click here.

The Optimizer patent contains comprehensive claims about an innovative system to significantly upgrade the consumer’s shopping experience in retail stores while boosting store profitability. The patents involve hardware and software that offer advantages over the recently introduced Amazon’s GO concept, click here.

Amazon’s GO enables consumers to avoid checkout lines but it is exceedingly capital intensive (sophisticated camera systems, etc.). In my opinion, if it were to be scaled up to accommodate large store formats, Amazon GO would encounter substantial technical difficulties and very high costs.   

The Optimizer is a low-cost system that can be applied to any size retail store and provides: (1) alternative product choices and lower prices to consumers at the exact time when they are ready to buy a specific product, (2) revenue to the Optimizer operator via payments for uniquely well-timed advertisements to consumers, and (3) elimination of conventional checkout procedures with electronic recognition of product barcodes via sensors installed in the consumer’s shopping cart.

The figure below from the Optimizer patent summarizes the key system components:

  • Using a hand-held product identifier (or mobile phone), the consumer identifies product A on a store shelf as a potential purchase.
  • Manufacturer or distributor of product A competes with other firms (B, C, etc.) to electronically send an advertisement or price-reduction coupon to the consumer’s Optimizer display screen which enables the consumer to then achieve higher value from a purchase decision.
  • Purchased products available in the store would be deposited in the Optimizer shopping cart.
  • When a product is deposited in the Optimizer shopping cart, electronic sensors transmit the product’s price (adjusted for any price-reduction coupon) from its barcode, e.g., Digimarc invisible barcode, click here, or conventional barcode. Also, a tabulation of products purchased, prices, and cost savings is shown on the Optimizer’s display screen.
  • The consumer’s credit card is charged when the consumer exits the store avoiding the conventional checkout line.