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A Model for Incorporating Radio Frequency Data Collection (RFDC) Technology in Retail Stores for Seamless Checkout and Integration with e-Business Architecture

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014140D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jun-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 5 page(s) / 146K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Concept: Checkout counters have always been an integral part of a retail store. Due to the increasing popularity of the RFID tags, now it is getting easier to design and develop strategies to eliminate the need of counters. In the same fashion, Internet has reshaped the traditional model for conducting business. The traditional buy/sell business model has been overshadowed by the ever popular e-business model where the World Wide Web has taken shape of an end to end integration medium for many businesses. The concept highlighted in this disclosure document takes advantage of both these two emerging technologies to demonstrate a self automated process from sales to Supply Chain Management. Following are the major gains achieved by the concept: A) Automated Checkout Facility. B) Eliminate Cashier Counter.

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  A Model for Incorporating Radio Frequency Data Collection (RFDC) Technology in Retail Stores for Seamless Checkout and Integration with e-Business Architecture

Concept:

    Checkout counters have always been an integral part of a retail store. Due to the increasing popularity of the RFID tags, now it is getting easier to design and develop strategies to eliminate the need of counters. In the same fashion, Internet has reshaped the traditional model for conducting business. The traditional buy/sell business model has been overshadowed by the ever popular e-business model where the World Wide Web has taken shape of an end to end integration medium for many businesses. The concept highlighted in this disclosure document takes advantage of both these two emerging technologies to demonstrate a self automated process from sales to Supply Chain Management. Following are the major gains achieved by the concept:

A) Automated Checkout Facility.

B) Eliminate Cashier Counter.

C) Wireless e-payment.

D) Online Management of Stock Inventory.

E) Supply Chain Integration with E-marketplace(s).

Physical Architecture:

The invention can be best described by explaining it with a sample real time implementation in a retail store. Figure A is describing the typical IT infrastructure required to implement this concept. In this sort of a setup, all items are equipped with an RFID tag which hold key information about the particular item, such as price, date of production, etc .

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Figure A: Typical IT Infrastructure diagram to facilitate the Conceptual requirements of the patent disclosure

As it is evident from the figure above, there is an RFID Antenna strategically located near the entrance/exit of the store. This antenna plays a major role in the overall architecture. Following are the functions it performs:

A) Identifies individual customers entering the premises through their rfid tagged shop cards. These cards may be presented to them on sign-up to this service.

B) Identifies items which are taken out by customers.

The RFID base server is hosting the software which is handling all the data sent by the RFID antenna. This server is also used to handle write operation to the RFID tag of the items. The RFID server software also interacts with the primary application server which can trigger actions to database and payment gateway servers.

Workflow:

A typical scenario would be that of a customer entering the shop and he/she is identified through the shop card which is in his/her possession. A welcome greeting message is triggered as a consequence. In case the customer intends to make a purchase of any item, he/she can straight away pass through the RFID antenna for authorization of this purchase. At this stage the main application would trigger the retrieval of the credit card information for that customer from the customer profile database and credit card verification is initiated

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