...The Augmented Living Goods Program (AUG) submitted by a group of recent Savannah College of Art and Design graduates.

Their design entered today's competition in 8th place after online voting closed, and I have to admit, I originally dismissed this idea as probably too ambitious to ever catch on. But they wowed the judges, and hopefully the modest cash award (a few thousand dollars, I think) will help get the program on its feet.

The basic idea behind AUG is to provide consumers with extended information about where their "living" foods (produce, meat and dairy) come from, and to encourage the locavore lifestyle. The actual gadget can be any existing "smart phone" that scans bar codes on various grocery items and displays the relevant information on-screen, including the product description, producer profiles, how far the item has traveled, whether the item is in season, historical pricing, and user/buyer comments.

The major hurdles for AUG are to set up a bar code directory that houses all of the necessary information for hundreds, if not thousands of local food regions, then orchestrating the cooperation between farmers and grocers to create these unique bar codes. Also, while the service is free for users (no word on whether farmers or grocers have to pay a fee to participate), buyers without a smart phone are SOL.

The judges awarded second place to Empower, the energy harvesting chair, and third place to the Illumi-charger, a solar-powered wall outlet. Honorable mentions went to Turbine Light, Fair Energy Clock and Device X - none of which ranked very highly in the online voting. For a microblog synopsis of the conference, you can access the Consumer Electronics Association twitter feed or follow the hashtag #GG10.