Pacific Fish Trax Kiosk

In the fall of 2008 Advanced Research was approached by the Project Manager of Pacific Fish Trax to see if we would could design two interactive kiosks for the project. This was a project easily within my abilities which was important since the design and implementation was solely my responsibility. The project provided both a hands-on technical component as well as an introduction into the local fishing community.

Pacific Fish Trax – Freezer Kiosk Traceability Pilot Project

Pacific Fish Trax KioskThe project was developed to create a new marketing tool to test the viability of a traceability system in grocery stores. The objective was to determine the value of traceability to the customer. For additional information about the project see either the Pacific Fish Trax website or the project’s final report.

Design of the Kiosk

Pacific Fish Trax Kiosk bar-code scanThe project required an interactive touchscreen to be placed on top of a small display freezer. This would allow the customer to select a package from the freezer, scan a bar-code, and be shown a brief audio-visual program to deliver the traceability information. Afterward a brief on-screen survey would be presented and the data logged.

To achieve this I choose to develop a PHP-based web application that could be accessed through Opera’s full-screen kiosk mode and utilize a MySQL database on the back-end. This would allow for adaptation across a wide array of hardware platforms and enable the database to be linked to other databases should the project at some point in the future require real-time data to be disseminated to multiple kiosks.

Backside of the Pacific Fish Trax KioskFor the hardware on this project I choose a low power Mac Mini that allowed hi-resolution videos to be played and an Elo touchscreen monitor. I choose a bi-direction laser bar-code scanner and in hindsight should have chosen an omni-directional one since many people do not readily grasp the need to line the bar-code up with the red laser line from the scanner.

The system worked extremely well for over a year in the stores before they were removed due to a dwindling supply of the vacuum packaged fish product to sell. For additional media coverage you can see either the Oregon Public Broadcasting article or a list of other news stories at the Pacific Fish Trax News page.