Present day shopping environments are centered around the needs of the consumer, and they aim to facilitate convenient access to different product lines varying from groceries to books to everyday electronics. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are examples of trends that have evolved providing a rich shopping experience. Unfortunately, such systems have been envisioned to cater to sighted customers and inadequately address the necessities of a person who is blind or visually impaired. In this work, we present a new system design that leverages the potential of emerging technologies like Electronic Product Code (EPC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to provide a wearable wireless device capable of delivering product information at realtime in order to enhance the shopping experience of customers who are visually impaired or blind. Various technologies have been proposed by earlier researchers to address the accessible shopping problem. In this paper, we have discussed each of these approaches, and analyzed their benefits and limitations, eliciting the motivation for a new design. Detailed descriptions of the various components of the proposed system are presented. An implementation of our system is illustrated with results from calibrated tests with wearable RFID readers and tags installed on various products. Studies of crucial design parameters like the variation of RFID reader sensitivity with orientation, range and material, along with system response time, are discussed to highlight the choice of technology elements in the design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBODYNETS 2008 - 3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks
ISBN (Electronic)9789639799172
Publication statusPublished - Nov 29 2011
Event3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks, BODYNETS 2008 - Tempe, United States
Duration: Mar 13 2008Mar 15 2008


Other3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks, BODYNETS 2008
CountryUnited States



  • Accessible shopping environment
  • Bluetooth
  • Database Systems
  • Human computer interface
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Krishna, S., Balasubramanian, V., Krishnan, N. C., Juillard, C., Hedgpeth, T., & Panchanathan, S. (2011). A wearable wireless RFID system for accessible shopping environments. In BODYNETS 2008 - 3rd International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks ICST. https://doi.org/10.4108/ICST.BODYNETS2008.2921