Form Factor Is The Measure Of All Mobility
New product configuration may prove to be a big hit and not just because an industry leader makes the introduction.
The marriage of Motorola and Symbol Technologies had its logical understandings and now that the first year is nearly in the books … the introduction of the MC17 shows how the mobility lineage may actually bring solutions to the next level of commercial usefulness.
Designed to become the technology version of a personal shopper, the MC17 becomes dedicated, when programmed properly, and in tune to the shopper’s needs when the shopper swipes his or her loyalty card. From then on through the shopping experience, the hand held computer uses the shopper’s stored database information to inform and assist the shopper in finding specials based upon the shopper’s personal shopping habits.
The customer also aides in the shopping experience by using the MC17 as the ultimate in self checkout. Each item the customer puts into the cart is scanned by the customer which, when done properly, will speed up the checkout process.
MC17 - A tool to assist in the personal shopping experience. Image Credit: Motorola
Excerpts from Jupiter Online Media’s, internet.com –
Kiosks You Can Carry
By Erin Joyce - Enterprise - June 5, 2007
Motorola calls it the next generation retail solution with enterprise mobility technology. But the company just wants shoppers to call its latest wireless device a cool thing, and use it.
Either way, Motorola's latest foray into enterprise technology products is in full swing with the third-generation release of its MC17 mobile computer device for retailers.
If that approach helps drive more sales, then those happy retailers are also happy customers of Motorola.
The MC17 symbolizes another extension of the self-service stations that are growing more popular at retail outlets such as grocery stores and pharmacies, said Chris Ciervo, a product manager for Motorola.
Unlike stationary scanners in retail stores these days, this device is a handheld kiosk that does more than provide look-up information in the store. It also sends affinity information to participating customers when they swipe their shopping card next to the scanner.
"What we're seeing today is a little more of this emphasis" in new store layouts, he told internetnews.com. "It can be in a rack when customers walk into the store. Then, they can pick them up, scan their loyalty information, then start their shopping process.
It's also available to do things like stock lookup, inventory and to help with line-busting," a term used by retailers to help break up long lines at traditional checkouts in stores.
In a sense, the self-service checkout functionality more shoppers experience has now moved into the store aisles, Ciervo noted.
"It's actually doing all that scanning while they shop. The value to the retailers is that, instead of when they check out, they have a point of activity to push various forms of content down to the consumer as they're putting items in their baskets. Those are the cross-selling opportunities. So there are potentially greater opportunities for a larger basket size."
The target markets for the product include retail environments such as mass merchandisers, grocery department stores and pharmacies.
The twist on this launch are the contextual suggestions the device collects and pumps out (assuming the person is participating in an affinity program) when the shopper is actually traipsing the aisles. In addition, the MC17 can be used for gift registry in department and specialty stores.
It's not Motorola's only move to gain market share with businesses. Last November, it snapped up privately-held Good Technology in order to spice up mobile applications for business users, most notably for its Q smartphone.
The MC17 deploys the Windows CE 5.0 operating system and uses the PocketBrowser from Motorola to enable developers to build mobile applications for enterprises, such as printing and bar code scanning. And, of course, it's compatible with prior Symbol systems too.
So is Motorola concerned that some customers might walk off with the devices? Not at all. Motorola's Seldon Safir, a director of product marketing for the company's enterprise mobility division, said the device would emit beeps to let the store know it has left the building.
Then again, RFID tags are also a specialty of Motorola's Symbol division. Look for the kiosks to deploy more uses of those in the future, too.
The MC17 is set to be priced at $995 and should prove to be a real hit for the retailer that has a solid interactive vision for its implementation. Only problem is ... it needs a catchy name ... any suggestions?