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Nordstrom testing iPod Touch-based mobile POS systems

updated 08:00 pm EDT, Thu May 12, 2011

Follows Gap, Old Navy, others in testing

Nordstrom, the Seattle-based department store chain, is testing an iPod Touch-based point-of-sale system at their Seattle and Bellevue stores to reduce wait times for customers checking out with credit cards, according to a report from Geekwire. The company is using an unnamed sled attachment to the iPod Touch, which enables the devices to be remote credit-card and barcode readers, obtaining inventory information from the scanned barcode and then allowing customers to pay by swiping, which generates an automatic e-mail receipt.

The system described by Nordstrom is similar to an Apple-promoted system currently being tested by Gap, Old Navy, Guess Jeans and of course Apple's own retail stores. It differs from the Square reader in that the backing also handles barcode reading using a traditional laser reader, instead of just credit card transactions. Apple's system in particular has the advantage of tying into various back-end inventory and accounting management systems.

If the system used by Nordstrom is the same as that used by Apple, the backing is known as the Linea Pro and made by Infinite Peripherals. It combines a rechargeable battery pack with the swipe reader and bar code reader. Other companies, such as XSilva, use it in conjunction with their own Lightspeed Mobile app to create a wireless "terminal" that scans products and accepts payments while updating the Mac-based Lightspeed application on the same network.

Nordstrom, which had also been using iPads in certain specialty departments as part of a broader effort to improve customer service, made mention of its use of the new POS system at its annual shareholders meeting yesterday. [via GeekWire]






by MacNN Staff

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  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Lightspeed

    Is a great program for small and medium businesses. I'd doubt that Nordstrom is using it, unless they switched entire stores to the program. (which would be impressive)

    Instead, they probably rolled their own app to tie into their existing systems. Handheld checkout systems are going to become the norm in certain businesses, especially those that already offer checkouts inside the stores.

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