(RSS) Self Check Out Cart
Original Publication Date: 2003-Apr-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Apr-03
In order to reduce cost/labor and increase customer satisfaction, an idea of having a Self-Checkout Cart in retail stores was brought up. The idea of scanning items as you place them in carts, and having the ability to pay for them when finished shopping without waiting in line for check-out, will create this idea of decreasing cost/labor while increasing customer satisfaction.
(RSS) Self Check Out Cart
One of the goals of stores is to reduce labor expenses and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. One of these avenues is Self-Check-Out. An improvement on this would be to load your merchandise in the cart and not have to remove and scan the items as you exit the store. The Hydra project would enable customers with a cart mounted terminal to scan the items and place them in the cart, and then either "pay" on the Hydra unit with a credit/debit card or stop at a check out to pay with cash or check. The question is how to "encourage" customers to scan each and every item. Another possible problem would be customers scanning one item and substituting for another.
One method is to "remind" customers that they need to scan all the items that they put in the cart. This will help the forgetful customers who do not intend to "steal" but just forgets to scan an item. A further improvement would be to check the scanned item against the weight that has been added into the cart.
Fig2 shows a cart with an infrared grid across the top of the cart. This can be accomplished with a strip of emitters and a strip of receiving photo conductors. This grid will sense someone inserting an item into the cart, which will remind the customer to scan the item. If the scanner is outside the grid, a timer can be set so that if an item is scanned the cart is looking for an item to be inserted into the cart.
Fig 1 shows a cart with a Hydra unit (1) installed on a cart (3). The cart basket pivots such that the weight of the items in the basket can be checked. This embodiment has a force cell attached to the Hydra system unit, such that an item with a weight (F1) can be measured at the force cell (F2). The
advantage of this particular embodiment is that the force measuring device can be removed with the Hydra unit. This concept will keep the cost of the cart down because the Hydra system unit does not have to be part of the cart. Basket 4 is intended for small personal items that do not need to be weighed, due to its weight compared to other bigger items.
The weight measurement can be used in conjunction with the infrared screen. When the IR beam is broken, the Hydra unit prompts the customer to scan the item. With this alert message, the customer will remember to scan the item and then place it in the basket. The Hydra...