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View Full Version : Science-Fiction Retailing Made Real

Jason Dunn
08-15-2003, 07:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2003/0815scienretai.html' target='_blank'>http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2003/0...scienretai.html</a><br /><br /></div>This is an interesting article about a "supermarket of the future" where different technologies are deployed in a test setting in order to see what works and what doesn't. The article goes into detail on which technologies they've employed, and the primary interface for store employees are Pocket PCs:<br /><br />"Store employees are equipped with PDAs. The Future Store is testing Hewlett-Packard Inc.'s iPaq 5450 and 3970 models as well as Symbol Technologies Inc.'s PDT-8100. The handheld devices run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Pocket PC operating system. Linked to the WLAN, the PDAs allow employees to check inventory or reorder goods by directly accessing Metro's merchandise management system at any time and any point in the store. The next phase of development calls for the PDAs to receive "soft phone" functionality, enabling staff to make calls in addition to sending messages or downloading information, according to Nikolatas. The service will be based on VoIP technology, as are all other hardwired and wireless in-store communication systems."

08-16-2003, 08:29 PM
They worry that such technology could create an Orwellian world where sales clerks or, worse, law enforcement officials could read the contents of a handbag with the wave of a wand.

They already do a similar thing at CostCo (at least they used to), only they had humans doing it. And it wasn't handbags, it was shopping carts. I see no problem with this; it prevents shoplifting.