Hybridmedia as a tool to deliver personalised product-specific information about food: Report of the TIVIK project

Timo Järvinen (Editor), Caj Södergård, Liisa Lähteenmäki, Anne-Mari Ottelin, Johanna Kuosmanen, Merja Kallio, Jari Laarni, Seppo Juurikko

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Consumers wish to have more information on the possible health effects of foods. Personalised self-relevant nutrition information is more appealing to individuals than messages that give general advice. Current package labels can be insufficient or troublesome to read, but other sources of information may not be accessible when the actual need appears. In the TIVIK project (A context-based personalized information system for delivering product information to the consumer) a pilot system was developed to deliver personalised food product-specific information to the consumer. The mobile application developed in the project utilises wireless Internet, camera phones and food packages. The consumer can collect the information independent of time and location. A barcode reader software application was also created and patented in the project. This transforms a camera phone into a barcode reader device. TIVIK can also be used with a PC's web browser. The nutritional information provided by TIVIK is displayed according to portion size. TIVIK has services for comparing products, creating a favourites list, maintaining a food diary, using an exercise calculator, and so on. The consumer can also search the food database using various criteria; he or she can read instructions and background information related to food and nutrition. The pilot system was developed for two user groups - those managing their weight and those suffering from lactose intolerance - but the system can be easily broadened to include other personalised user groups as well. The system has around 700 products in its database. The system was tried in the Helsinki area and Kuopio with a field trial that lasted between two and four weeks. The participants (N = 100) liked the basic idea of the system, and the information based on one's own food choices was regarded as appealing and rewarding. The PC application was evaluated as motivating and easy to use. The food diary for daily food intake and the exercise calculator that could transform the consumed calories into the time needed to expend them in different physical activities or vice versa were the most appreciated features of the system. The preferred location for using the system was at home with the PC. The use of a mobile device was perceived as troublesome and the small number of products in the database restricted the usability. Alternative business models for commercialising the system were developed within the project. The models are based on an independent earning logic, societal benefit and a private database. Improved technical usability and establishing an adequate database are the prerequisites for commercialising the system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Commissioning bodyFinnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes)
    Number of pages34
    ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6729-3
    ISBN (Print)951-38-6728-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


    • nutritional information
    • personalized information systems
    • health effects of food


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