Nick Lansley's

Innovation Lab

Welcome to my technology blog! It's a mish-mash of projects and occasional thoughts on the world of technology and computer programming. This blog also incorporates my former TechForTesco blog authored during my time as Head of R&D at

Out At Tesco – and I’m staffing the Tesco stand at Careers Show

Sorry for this off-topic message but, in the light of feedback concerning the announcement of Tesco’s new staff network “Out At Tesco” (of which I am a committee member), I am taking the opportunity here to help readers understand why such a network exists and to announce that I will be hosting the Tesco stand […]

New Version of RedLaser uses only published iPhone APIs

After I put out a request for technologies that could use the iPhone’s camera to scan barcodes without having to call unpublished API methods, I have been contacted by Jeffrey Powers, co-founder of Occipital, the company behind the RedLaser technology. Jeffrey has informed me that there is a just-released version of RedLaser that only uses […]

Barcode scanning for iPhone – anyone help?

Regular readers will know about our desire to take Tesco Finder, our store & product finding app for iPhone, on a journey where we will add new innovative features and functions based on customer feedback. One of these functions is to use the iPhone’s camera to perform barcode scanning. An innovative solution comes from Red […]

Nice thought piece on APIs from Revolution magazine

I like this ‘thought piece’ from Revolution magazine on APIs and the future. The article’s “pros and cons” paragraph is particularly interesting, and the section about the importance of ‘abstracting’ the API from how the underlying service really works was important to me when designing the Grocery API. Our underlying grocery service is […]

It’s cheaper to Record than Delete.

(Update: Edited for increased clarity!) When I was in Tesco Watford store on Saturday looking at their range of USB hard drives, two thoughts struck me: These disk drives had become amazingly cheap in terms of Gigabytes per £Pound I’d rather buy an additional drive rather than delete anything to free up my existing disk […]

Tesco Finder v1.01 now live

Just to let you know that our Tesco Finder application is now live in the iTunes App Store as a free update. I have detailed its new functions in a previous blog entry but to summarise: 1) Vastly improved search ‘relevancy’ capability, 2) Shows guide prices and offers (complete with expiry date), and 3) Restores […]

New Release of Tesco Finder Features Prices and Offers

The need to sort out the “Town/City Search” issue with Tesco Finder gave me the excuse to update this iPhone application with the users’ most requested feature: prices and offers. The updated application has just been submitted to the Apple iTunes App Store and so should be arriving on your iPhone in the next few […]

Tesco Finder’s Town/City Search Not Working

If you attempt to use Tesco Finder’s “Town/City Search” function to locate a Tesco store manually, you’ll find you get the message, “I couldn’t connect to Please check your network connection or try again later.“. So what’s happening? Basically we’ve programmed Tesco Finder to use Google’s geo-search API, where we pass on the town […]

Tesco Finder’s 4000th download and barcode searching capability

You may be interested to know that today we’ve reached 4,000 downloads of our iPhone Tesco Finder application, and that the Tesco API is servicing anonymous product search requests at the rate of one every 20 seconds during the day and evening. You may also like to know that one of Tesco Finder’s hidden talents […]

Tesco Store and Product Finder reaches 1000 downloads and 4-star rating

It’s early days but I have to pass on the team’s excitement that, since the iPhone Tesco Finder application arrived in the Apple App Store on Saturday, we’ve had just over 1,000 downloads of the application. In addition, product search requests (which are entirely anonymous) are being serviced by the Tesco API at the average […]