Thank you wallet!

12/03/2012
Mobile phone used as wallet

Mobile phone used as wallet

I started this blog some months ago looking at the shopping process and how smart shelves could become a helpful tool for customers with disabilities instead of just helping a company with their logistics and storage management. The shopping experience however doesn’t stop in the shelves. There are a number of other steps and today I am looking at the payment.

Usually customers in a large shop are going through the checkouts where the paying process takes place either in cash or using a credit card. In many cases, stores are also issuing loyalty cards to customers giving them special offers in exchange of the information they are providing when using the card. The latest trend in payment is mobile payment. Major players in the mobile computing domain have shown interest in the area of mobile payments with Google entering the competition by introducing Google wallet. Read the rest of this entry »

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How far are we from having robots as assistive devices?

10/29/2012
PR2 robot from Willow Garage

PR2 robot from Willow Garage (source: http://www.willowgarage.com)

One of the most interesting technologies emerging in the area of consuming services has to do with robotics. Currently, there are a number of cases where robots are used to serve people in specific situations. Such an example is a company based in South Korea named KIST has led the development of a humanoid teaching robot called Erki, which has been under trial for more than a year now as an assistant in primary school teaching. Using robots as assistants in public places can be quite challenging. There are a number of issues to take under account apart from the interface and the communication of the robot with humans. For example, how will the robot operate in a situation where a group of students try to vandalize it, what happens when a part of the robot breaks down, how often and how long does it need to be recharged? Read the rest of this entry »


Shopping in a store full of smart shelves.

09/10/2012

Picture of ShelfX smart shelvesIt’s time to start our engines. This first idea has to do with shopping. It’s not the only one… more will follow.

Shopping in large stores may these be super markets, utility stores, toy stores etc. is an experience with many similarities across the areas. People when entering such a store select a trolley or some kind of basket to collect their products to buy. They browse through large aisles tagged with large signs categorizing products under specific categories. While browsing them, they may use a shopping list or just grab whatever attracts their attention or whatever they need and drop it to the trolley or basket and continue. Read the rest of this entry »


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