How do you compare prices in a range of stores when standing in the aisle of your local supermarket?

The easy answer now, is “on your iphone“. A crowd calledĀ  Red Laser have an app that scans the code, compares the product/price to others scanned (presumably there is a data base somewhere out in the cloud) and using google maps is able to compare prices in your general location.

This development has the potential to re-write the equation between brands, the value of things like location and parking, and price in the retail space, and with effectively an FMCG retail duopoly in Australia, it will consume some headspace in Co-op castle in Melbourne, and the Taj in Sydney.

It is a “pity” we wasted millions on a “Grocery Watch” white elephant, a technology/populist bet in the early days of the Rudd government, when a couple of years down the track, a similar thing can be done better on your phone. We now have the same sort of thinking making a 45 billion dollar bet on the NBN, a bet that will impact on generations. Hope they get it right this time!