Paderborn, Germany — "Living Tomorrow," a non-profit organization founded in 1995, is opening an exhibition today in Vilvoorde near Brussels. Here, innovative companies are demonstrating how people live, work, travel and shop today, and what this will be like in the near future. Wincor Nixdorf, a technology partner of the co-initiator and international retail enterprise Delhaize, is showing what "Shopping Tomorrow" can look like.
Wincor Nixdorf uses a grocery store to demonstrate how today’s — for the most part anonymous — grocery shopping can be developed into an individual and interactive process between retailer and customer. At the store’s reception terminal, an employee greets the customer — but if the terminal is unoccupied, customers can also use the 180-degree rotatable multimedia terminal, which is built into the reception desk, to gather information and receive offers from a virtual consultant. Alternatively, they can use the terminal for personal contact with a special back-office employee via video conferencing.
The customer then takes a shopping cart fitted with a PSA (Personal Shopping Assistant). Wincor Nixdorf is presenting the first cart with a PSA that is permanently mounted on the cart. Customers identify themselves at these PSAs using their customer cards, and the system then guides them through the store, submits personalized offers to them, and can be used to scan their purchases directly.
Products kept in coolers and refrigerated displays feature RFID chips attached to the packaging. Electronic shelf displays automatically present important additional information on products and, for example, recommend suitable wines. If the customer presses a button on the PSA, the precise bottle of wine recommended to accompany a product will be lit up from behind so that it can be located immediately. To find out more about the wine, the customer removes the bottle from the intelligent wine shelf and the display on the shelf shows all the useful information on the product.
Customers who have already scanned their selections pay at a PayTower using the PSA scanner receipt and a credit card. If they haven’t scanned their purchases yet, they can use the 180-degree rotatable scan station. And at a terminal located next to the checkout, they can top up their cell phones, book concert tickets, or download music.
The exhibition "Living Tomorrow" runs for five years. During the week, it is exclusively open to company representatives; the exhibition is open to the public on weekends.