Retail technology – what’s ‘in store’ for the future?

By Admin

With the increasing popularity of online shopping, high-street stores are losing out. The rise of e-commerce is having a negative impact on many retailers who will need to evolve to compete with online businesses.
The high-street could be given a new lease of life if it became more technologically advanced through the use of innovative retail technology.
Retailers who fail to keep up with technological advances, risk losing out to both e-commerce and those retailers who are prepared to invest in the latest technology.

Products in the stores of the future could become ‘smart’ and ‘virtual’.

So what could be expected in the ‘store of the future’?

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Radio frequency ID (RFID) tags attached to individual items used in conjunction with mobile technology, could revolutionise the supply chain and transform the payment experience.
As an RFID tag is unique it will be possible to detect when an item has been removed from the shelf, paid for, discarded somewhere in the store or taken out of the store without payment. Shop lifting could become a thing of the past for those high-street stores prepared to invest in retail technology.
With near field communication (NFC) chips, smart phones could become payment and store tracking devices. While in the store shoppers could be sent vouchers, product suggestions, information on special offers or loyalty rewards. The retailer could have the opportunity to tempt customers with special offers to boost sales.

Recipe suggestions from a ‘smart cart’?

The shopping carts of the future may be equipped with LCD screens or tablet PCs and a control panel. The ‘smart cart’ could then use RFID tags to scan items as they are added or removed.
In addition it is possible that the cart of the future could incorporate an item locator, suggest the fastest route around the store and even make recipe suggestions. Although perhaps a shopping cart is perhaps not best placed to help the nation decide what to eat for dinner.

Shopping from a ‘virtual shelf’ would end space limitations.

Shopping from the ‘virtual shelf’ could overcome a store’s space limitations. The idea is to have a touch-sensitive display with the store’s inventory, a smart phone using image-recognition technology could then scan and order the item. Virtual shelves could be located and accessed anywhere and not just in-store, allowing consumers to shop anywhere at any time.   

Waiting at the checkout – a thing of the past?

By adopting RFID tag retail technology, stores could end waiting in line at the checkout. If every item had a RFID tag, the smart cart could keep a running total and payment could be made using a smart phone at the exit. What could be easier for the consumer?

Investment in retail technology to enhance the shopping experience means a store being better equipped to compete with e-commerce.


BlackBerry 10 Home Screen Unveiled

RIM's Head of Software Portfolio, said the BB10 interface is built around fluid gestures and swipes, rather than lots of individual taps to get into and out of different apps and functions. It is also being specifically designed to allow BlackBerry owners to get to the stuff they want by using just one hand or a single thumb, he said.

First up, the BB10 homescreen -- it's out with app icons, and in with four large panes which are full, active apps meaning they will change as their content changes. To fully dive into one of these homescreen apps you just tap on the relevant pane.

From this homescreen, swiping to the right takes you to a traditional icon-centric view app view, while swiping to the left brings up a unified inbox view which collates all your communications -- from emails and IM to calls, tweets, Facebook updates etc -- into one uber feed.

Bhardwaj said key gestures, such as swiping to the left to get to this one-stop-shop inbox, aren't restricted to the homescreen but can be deployed wherever you are in the OS.

The most distinctive gesture in BB10 is what Bhardwaj described as "a looking type gesture" or "glancing across" to other content off screen.

This gesture is triggered by holding your thumb down at the bottom right hand corner of the screen which shrinks the view, bringing up a margin at the right hand side where notifications are displayed. Swiping or dragging your thumb further to left brings even more content on screen -- such as your inbox, an attachment or an open app.



BlackBerry Crash Continues To Affect Millions


BlackBerry users across the world have been left without email or text services for a second day due to an unexplained fault.
Customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina have now reported problems with their devices.
They have been venting their fury at the lack of service on Twitter and other social networking sites.
BlackBerry Crash Continues To Affect Millions
One customer tweeted: "You realise that sending a letter in a bottle and putting it in the Thames is more reliable than a BlackBerry ."
Another joked: "What did one BlackBerry user say to the other BlackBerry user? Nothing."
The server problems are believed to stem from a data base in Slough and started on Monday morning.
However, it is not known what specifically caused the fault.
Manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) had given the all-clear on Tuesday morning after the first problems.
But they struck again later, leaving users unable to access emails or the internet or use messaging services.
RIM said in a statement: "Some users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina are experiencing messaging and browsing delays.
"We are working to restore normal service as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused."
Regular voice-calling services appear not to have been affected, and the problem seems to be limited to personal rather than business contracts.
Mobile operators in the UK including T Mobile and Orange posted messages on their websites referring customers experiencing difficulties to the manufacturer.
Vodafone said: "Research in Motion (RIM) is currently investigating the issue as a priority to restore services as soon as possible."
TV critic Ian Hyland tweeted: "All we need now is for i-phones to start playing up and we'll have the dream headline: 'Apple and Blackberry Crumble.'"
SOURCE: Sky News

'Private' BlackBerry network won't shield rioters

Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent
Twitter's been blamed/praised for its ability to catalyse all sorts of popular uprisings of late. But another communications medium entirely may have helped kick off the ongoing riots and looting in London: the long-forgotten, youth-centric BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) network.
If you don't have a BlackBerry smartphone you could be excused for never having heard of it. BBM is an instant messaging network that lets users communicate for free with other BlackBerry users over the 3G cellphone network. Forget network-imposed limits on your text messages: just swap your BBM ID code (a PIN, basically) with your contacts and phone-to-phone instant messaging chat over-the-air is free.
It's in the BlackBerry because Research In Motion, the Canadian maker of the phone, has its roots in the paging and wireless email industry - so BBM was was a natural progression for the firm - as RIM co-CEO and founder Mike Lazaridis told me in this 2008 interview.
When Twitter was used by thugs in Tottenham or Brixton it was often to read tweets telling them to check their BBM messages for info on where the next ruck was taking place. "The media are pointing blame to Twitter for the London riots. Closed Blackberry BBM has been more influential," said one Twitter user, pointing to this TechCrunch post.
But BBM's appearance of being a closed, private network is an illusion. The same goes for Sony's internet-based Playstation Network, which at presstime this evening was also said to be carrying messages about looting plans for Peckham and Lewisham, two boroughs in south-east London.
BBM uses internet packet transmission protocols over the 3G network; internet traffic and messages sent over it are eminently traceable. In an ominous message that looters won't want to read on their new stolen - at least one branch of PC World was completely emptied along with mobile phone shops - RIM issued a statement saying it will comply with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, "and co-operate fully with the Home Office and UK police forces".
RIPA is a much-criticised piece of legislation that allows for the surveillance and investigation of communications data and user accounts if a senior police officer deems it necessary for crime fighting purposes. It's often been slated as a snooper's charter. But I think even hardened privacy advocates might, this time, be happy to see it harnessed to bring the violent looters who have sullied London to heel.

Nokia staff member

A Nokia staff member shows off the new Nokia N9 phone on the sidelines of CommunicAsia 2011, an international communications and information technology exhibition and conference held on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in Singapore. Finnish handset maker Nokia Corp. said it plans to introduce this year its first mobile phone using the Microsoft Windows platform. Nokia also unveiled its N9 smartphone model, which is based on the MeeGo platform. Nokia's Chief Executive Stephen Elop said the N9 would be launched later this year, but declined to specify the date or price.

Nokia's Senior Vice President for Design Marko Ahtisaari shows off the new Nokia N9 phone on the sidelines of CommunicAsia 2011, an international communications and information technology exhibition and conference held on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in Singapore. Finnish handset maker Nokia Corp. said it plans to introduce this year its first mobile phone using the Microsoft Windows platform. Nokia also unveiled its N9 smartphone model, which is based on the MeeGo platform. Nokia's Chief Executive Stephen Elop said the N9 would be launched later this year, but declined to specify the date or price.

Starting a Tech Business

Starting a high-tech business is one of the new ventures that many entrepreneurs want to get into. This venture makes Bill Gates and Steve Jobs successful in their chosen endeavor.
You too can also realize your dream and be successful.

The developments and innovations in technology make the lives of many people successful especially those in the online industry. Getting into a technology business is not an easy endeavor because it requires knowledge, skills and resources. Obviously, every business owners start their business from the bottom and the success of the business depends on the technology used. Online business is one of the ventures that are utilizing the high technology. However, being in the technology business it requires you to be updated about the latest trends of technology otherwise, you will be left behind. Yet, there are several important instructions to follow before you decide to start this kind of business.

Creating Great Ideas

If you are thinking to start a tech business you should think first the ideas that you can use in the venture you want to engage. Validating and solidifying great ideas is the foremost step that you should do. Make sure that all your ideas would help you to generate the income and profit you desire. If you do not have any ideas about getting into high technology business, you can seek advice from business and technical professional to give you assistance. In this way, you can easily solidify strategy as well as know the right idea to obtain approval from bank and other funding source.

Creating the Business Plan

Any business cannot survive successfully without a business plan. That is why creating the business plan along with the company pitch and executive summary plays a major role in creating a tech business. In creating a business plan you should include all the necessary details that would make your business running smoothly. Make sure that you incorporate all the key concepts. As long as you create the right business plan you can ensure that starting and running a tech business would be easy. Likewise, a comprehensive business plan is your key to convince investors. Make sure that the cover letter highlights the key value proposition. This means that the business plan is your key to obtain funding for your new business. Thus, you should ensure that everything is stated in details.

Setting off The Ground

This phase of starting a tech business can make or break your business. There are several factors to consider such as branding your business, creating a compelling content of website and good navigation system. If you want your business to be recognize you should ensure that potential clients can obtain the specific content they look easily. As long as you keep everything in proper places your business will be successful.