Browse Prior Art Database

Portable Self Checkout Retail System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108574D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 4 page(s) / 212K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dean, JT: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Outlined is a system for use in the Retail/Distribution industry to benefit both retailers and customers. The system is based on a customer-used smart card which can contain any one or all of Retailer Frequent Shopper program, customer information and various financial data. The smart card is employed in conjunction with a portable Retailer POS (point-of-sale) terminal to make the "shopping experience" more efficient, thus faster and more enjoyable. The concept should provide more flexibility and efficiency than currently available. The customer performs the 'checkout' process during a shopping session, rather than at its completion. Novel use is made of developments in radio technology and 'smart' cards integrated in a hand-held scanner.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 31% of the total text.

Portable Self Checkout Retail System

       Outlined is a system for use in the Retail/Distribution
industry to benefit both retailers and customers.  The system is
based on a customer-used smart card which can contain any one or all
of Retailer Frequent Shopper program, customer information and
various financial data. The smart card is employed in conjunction
with a portable Retailer POS (point-of-sale) terminal to make the
"shopping experience" more efficient, thus faster and more enjoyable.
The concept should provide more flexibility and efficiency than
currently available.  The customer performs the 'checkout' process
during a shopping session, rather than at its completion.  Novel use
is made of developments in radio technology and 'smart' cards
integrated in a hand-held scanner.  It avoids rewiring of retail
stores due to layout changes, increases efficiency of checkout lines
and flexibly integrates with retail applications.

      The combination of new technologies, enabling a new approach to
retailing are as follows.

      Bar code scanning techniques, and size reduction of
electronics.  Developments in data transmission using Radio LAN
links.  Smart cards as used in industry sectors, e.g.,
Retail/Distribution, Finance and Telecommunications.  Also
lightweight portable power packs used in mobile and hand telephones.

      A retail outlet employing this scheme could use a central,
backoffice system, with an in-store communications front-end
controller.  A number of POS terminals for customer payment and
portable checkout units for customers to select and purchase items
are utilized.  Data communications between these elements is via
radio, using a localized, frequency-deregulated technology optimized
for data transmission, e.g., Spread Spectrum.

      The back-office system can maintain a central data-base, and
support existing store systems in addition to the new system.
Concurrent operation of existing and new systems, enables retailers
to pilot the new system, migrate users gradually, and offer customers
choice between the two. A key element of the back-office system is
the front-end Communications Controller which will manage all data
communications within the store, and provide an interface to existing
store systems using the protocols, procedures and interfaces which
are currently supported.  The POS terminal will be optimized for
customer financial transactions and the printing of receipts.  At the
POS terminal, customers hand their card, which has details of
purchased goods, to the checkout assistant to be read by the terminal
and a detailed receipt printed.  The terminal has a radio
communications capability compatible with that used by the Portable
Checkout Unit with the means for POS data communications with the
back-office.  It avoids rewiring of signal cables when stores are
rearranged and POS terminals repositioned.  Before printing the
receipt, a validation check is made of the cus...