Instantly Informed Consumers

| July-August 1999

If the product-scanning systems in stores can take information from consumers, why can't the same systems give consumers information about the products they're purchasing? That's the idea behind the Ur Scanner, created by London inventor Noel Douglas. Consumers simply scan a product's bar code to receive information about the manufacturer—including the company's political, social, and environmental record. As Douglas writes in Adbusters (Spring 1999), “I wanted to help people see the structures and relationships that connect seemingly separate issues, and hopefully spark some informed action.”