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 »


Will WiFi be the best solution for indoor navigation?

11/05/2012
Google Maps indoor navigation

Google Maps indoor navigation

I am returning to mobility problems in this post and especially for indoor environements. One of the most pressing issues for mobility impaired and vision impaired persons is the issue of getting around in unknown indoor environments. Getting lost, disoriented and even getting “trapped” in some circumstances can be quite a stressful situation for them.

Lately, a number of positioning techniques have been developed for indoor environments (e.g., the methods based on Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN), Bluetooth, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Ultra Wideband (UWB), infrared and ultrasound, etc.). Among these techniques, the approach on the basis of exploiting 802.11 WLAN (Wi-Fi) is attractive, which is expected to yield a cost-effective and easy-accessible solution. All modern smartphones have Wi-Fi built in, and wireless networks are common enough in indoor spaces that an app could easily scan for known access points and calculate your position using trilateration . This is currently enabled in open operating systems of smart phones, e.g. in Android ones. As an alternative, there are some Wi-Fi installations in buildings, such as the ones based on Cisco MSE that can determine the location of any wireless device in the building. The Wi-Fi access points receive the Wi-Fi signals created by the mobile phone and then estimate its position via trilateration. 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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