The Perplexed Guide


The Perplexed Guide is a device that helps users differentiate between the prime and the bland while shopping at the supermarket, by decreasing the salience of all non relevant visual information. The application allows the user to create a shopping list out of commonly used products at home, and then helps the user find these items at the supermarket when shopping.

Before throwing away a used product the user creates a digital shopping list by pointing the camera to the product’s unique barcode. When the user arrives at the supermarket he views the environment through the monitor. Viewed throught the device, all supermarket products are seen in gray-scale, apart from the desired products that are shown in full color, attracting the eye and the shopper towards it.



The supermarket is full of stimulations, visual, vocal and scents. We decided to come up with a solution for the visual stimulations by filtering the non relevant visual stimulations. The idea was to come up with as a solution to help people with cognitive disability, by decreasing the cognitive load one faces while walking in the super market .

The Perplexed Guide turned out to be an inclusive solution for all people coping with the manufactures manipulations that force products in to our carts without us ever planning on buying them in the first place.



We mashed up combining a small security monitor and a web camera in order to simulate a tablet\smartphone application.

In order to single out the relevant product we had to come up with a system; we were inspired by an iphone application called ‘facelook’ that recognize users faces from photos and tags them to their Facebook profile, but products at the supermarket do not have the same structure as faces and so that algorithm wasn’t right.

We had to figure out how to recognize products. It was impossible for us with the little knowledge we have to write an algorithm that will recognize each product, but we could use a ready made technology: fiducials! Fiducials are markers that can be recognized with a camera using a designated program such as ‘cvv’ or ‘Reactivision’ that interprets the ID of the marker while filming it.

We wrote a small program using ‘max/msp’, that communicates with the ‘Reactivision’ through the ‘TUIO’ protocol. Input comes from the camera and to the program when ‘Reactivision’ recognizes the marker on the product, The user will now assign the product to the grocery list by pressing the ‘add to list’ button. Then he will receive an output that shows the product is listed.

When the user enters the supermarket he will receive the same output- the listed item will turn colored when he will pass by it. After the user has taken the product from the shelf and to the cart he will press the ‘remove from list’ button in order to remove the product from the list and finish the shop.


Adi Kaminski, Adi Cohen, Dima Polovkin (Special thanks to Yair Reshef and Michael Harari for their major help in writing the software.)