CeBIT 2006

Today is the first day of the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany. The CeBIT has traditionally been the event where new business solutions are presented, and as there are quite a few Point Of Sale related companies between the 6000+ exhibitors, it is also a good place to investigate the current state-of-the-art in EPOS technology.

Unfortunately, I can’t be in Hannover this year, so I will try to find the POS diamonds through press releases and other on-line available material. You can expect some updates here during the coming week!

Microsoft Origami as a mobile POS?


Microsoft Origami

There is a lot of buzz on the web about Microsoft’s Origami Project. Though Microsoft has not released any details about the project, we already know that Origami is a hand held device sized between a tablet PC and a PDA, running the Windows XP operating system.

Such a device might be of great use for traveling salesman. A laptop or a tablet PC are too heavy and too slow for daily use on the road, and PDA’s have a too small screen and lack the broad range of software offerings available on the Windows XP platform. A small device running ‘regular’ Windows XP can be used in many innovative ways, Of course, whether this device really can be used as a mobile system depends on the hardware options. Does it have Bluetooth to connect printers? What networking options will be available? WiFi? UMTS?

The device will be presented next week on the CeBIT show.

Automated order taking in fast-food restaurant


KFC Xpress OrderI just ran into this photo of a order taking terminal in one of those Taco Bell/KFC hybrids, and found it very fascinating. Of course I knew that these terminals exist, but I have never actually seen one.

Customers of this restaurant can enter their order and pay —the terminal accepts cash and credit cards— at this terminal and go to the counter to pick up their food. By using the order terminal this restaurant streamlines their order process, and thereby minimizes waiting times for the customers. Of course, such a process works best for fast food restaurants, where speed is more important than quality.

Can anybody tell me who the manufacturer of this terminal is, and what software it runs?

RFID Not Ready For Prime Time


Logo Symbol

Despite big initiatives by the likes of Wal-Mart, Target and the Department of Defense, and a good bit of hype, tracking goods with RFID tags isn’t going to become commonplace anytime soon, said Sal Iannuzzi, president and CEO of Symbol Technologies.

In time, it will be a very significant market, but whether that happens in ’07 or ’08, I don’t know that, said Iannuzzi. It’s such an embryonic market that it’s not about revenue yet… in some ways you can view it as a startup.

RFID uses radio frequency waves to transfer data between a reader and a tag to identify, track or find a tagged item. (The tracking capability is what has spawned privacy concerns.) Symbol markets both readers and tags.

Technology consultancy Gartner estimates that new license revenues for RFID will total $751 million worldwide by the end of 2006. By 2010, Gartner forecasts worldwide RFID spending to surpass $3 billion. Success will depend on finding popular applications beyond retail distribution centers, analysts say.

Just because bar codes are used extensively in distribution centers does not mean RFID will be, said Jeff Woods, research vice president at Gartner, in a December 2005 report. Businesses are beginning to discover business value in places where they cannot use bar coding, which will be the force that moves RFID forward.

[Source: eWeek]

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