New store scanners may work with our smartphone, tablet
Whether you have a cashier or go to the self-checkout lane at the grocery store, you may start using your smartphone or tablet on the same scanner that weighs your produce or scans the milk.
Early next week, Schaumburg-based Motorola solutions plans to unveil a new scanner/scale called the MP6000 that will more quickly capture those pesky bar codes on the sides of packages and even read images of your loyalty card or coupon from the screen of your mobile device. And that device doesn't have to be a Motorola product, said Bill Britts, Motorola senior director of product management.
"Consumers are becoming more aggressive on how they want to use their mobile devices while shopping," Britts said.
While the MP6000 isn't a sexy name or device, it may help to streamline your shopping experience at grocery stores, discount stores, home improvement stores, warehouse clubs and elsewhere. Britts declined to say which major retailers will have the new scanner, but the company has had past relationships with Macy's and Home Depot.
Retailers have the option to connect with consumers with apps for their smartphone or tablet. This would enable shoppers to scan both traditional paper-based and mobile loyalty cards, gift cards and coupons while the cashier scans their other items for purchase.
Also, to move the consumer more quickly through the line, there's no need to perfectly align the bar code right in front of the scanner. This new device will see six sides of the product, despite any damaged, poorly printed or overwrapped labels, Britts said.
Motorola Solutions plans to start shipping the device to stores in June, Britts said.
The company is also working on advances to such scanners for the future, including regulated items, like alcohol that can only be purchased by someone age 21 and over. A future device likely will scan in the person's driver's license and automatically provide the age.
"The system could remove any error on the person's age," Britts said.
Surfing: Naperville-based OfficeMax Inc. said it's making cloud services available to customers through its OfficeMaxWorkplace by partnering with Xerox. And starting in February, OfficeMax stores nationwide will provide access to MiMedia cloud services for consumers and small businesses. The two cloud service programs allow OfficeMax to provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with a cost-effective way to access, manage, share and recover files from many mobile devices, OfficeMax said.
•Verizon Wireless, which has its Midwest headquarters in Schaumburg, will offer shared data plans for businesses with the Jan. 24 debut of Share Everything Plan for Small Business, and the Nationwide for Business Data Packages and Plans. For more information, see http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2013/01/business-share-everything-plans.html
•Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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