Monday, May 09, 2011

How mobile tech is changing the retail experience | Smartplanet

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By Melanie D.G. Kaplan | May 9, 2011, 2:00 AM PDT
Small Planet

There is a new coffee shop in my neighborhood that handles all its customer transactions on an iPad, including credit card swipes. It’s the coolest thing ever. And it got me thinking about how mobile technology is changing the retail landscape. So to learn more, I called David Dorf, senior director of technology strategy at Oracle Retail, which supplies software to retailers.

Dorf identifies emerging technologies for use in the retail industry and has a small research team that creates prototypes. Here’s his blog, and excerpts of our conversation are below.

My neighborhood coffee shop that’s swiping credit cards on an iPad: What’s going on there?

Most likely the point-of-sale (POS) device was something called Square. One of the guys who created Twitter broke off and started Square, which allows you to take an iPhone or iPad and turn it into POS. It allows you swipe credit cards. The interesting thing is that he used the earphone jack–so when you swipe the credit card, it turns it into a series of sounds. They came out with the first version. VeriFone has a similar version. Another is Intuit, who does TurboTax. All three of them are focused on small retailers that need help processing payments.

I kind of like signing my receipt with my finger on the iPad. Are we going to be seeing more of this? Read More

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