A trip to the garden centre is not normally a technical experience, there are more carbon based lifeforms to be found there than silicon ones. I guess you go there to get away from the hurly-burly and enjoy the peace and quiet that nature brings yet they are still places where technology can be applied.
As with most garden centres our local one has long since given up applying itself solely to the supply of horticulture. They are now mini shopping malls with clothing stores, a restaurant and seasonal displays of furniture in the summer and Christmas decorations in the winter. They are also great places for gift ideas.
Strolling through the shopping village, as our nearest centre euphemistically calls its non-plant area, I am usually aware of the background music, either because it is too loud or wholly inappropriate for the age profile of the customers. The store must buy a tape or download from somewhere. ‘Now that’s what I call Garden Centres?’
Music has become increasingly intrusive in the day to day shopping experience. In the background it can be soothing and reduce the feeling of isolation when the store is quite empty but at time it is annoying and distracts from any conversation you are trying to have.
It must be a faff to turn the music up and down depending upon how busy the shop is. Getting the right level must be quite difficult yet surely there is a technical solution here. Using sensors around the store the relative level of ambient noise could be detected and the music be adjusted accordingly. This could even be done at speaker level so that the sound is sufficient to be comforting but not grating in the different areas.
Take this one step further however, the average age profile for the store could be picked up from mobile phone data and the selection of music adjusted accordingly. As the demographics changes, the right selection from Spotify could make the day. It could even sell more pot plants or direct people unknowingly to more empty areas.
There may be some GDPR issues in play here but for a small discount vouture I am sure people would opt in.