Ice Cream Shop Uses RFID for Real Time Flavor Availability

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Izzy’s Ice Cream in St. Paul, Minnesota, has just implemented an RFID system used to update its available ice cream flavors in store and over the internet in real time. So if you’re wondering if Mocha Chunka Munka Bean (that’s a thing, right?) is in the dipping cabinet, you can find out before you leave work in the middle of the day to feed your insatiable ice cream habit.

The system seems relatively straightforward:

“The nameplates for each flavor have RFID chips built in, which are then read by antennae anchored in the dipping cabinet. The inventory is automatically updated simply through the act of an employee changing flavors in the dipping cabinet. That act triggers an inventory update, which in turn publishes the current flavors to multiple channels: the in-store screen, Izzy’s website, Twitter, Facebook and email subscribers for individual flavors.”

Yes, you can “subscribe” to your favorite flavors and get alerts when they’re available. As a technology enthusiast who grew up in Minnesota, I’m torn. I can’t help feeling that subscribing to ice cream alerts promotes unhealthy eating habi—ooh! They just added the Strawberry Cheesecake flavor!