Peter Harding - retail consultant

04 May, 2016
Page 18 

We all understand standards within the technological arena change, sometimes so quickly that it is difficult to keep pace. This is a pre-warning that things may again be set to change.

We are all familiar with WiFi and indeed our working and home lives may depend on the technology existing. As more and more bandwidth is used, space for all of our devices is being limited. I looked at my WiFi router at home yesterday, there are 11 registered devices. I don't think I am unusual in use of such things as phones, WiFi connection to laptops PCs etc.

Two new terms may well appear in our lives very soon. One emerging technology looks really exciting. Like WiFi, LiFi is wireless and uses similar 802.11 protocols, but it uses visible light communication (instead of radio frequency waves), which has much wider bandwidth.

The biggest single benefit is speed of transfer, up to 100 times faster than existing WiFi. No one is quite sure yet where LiFi will emerge and change our tech lives but be assured that as new devices appear on your horizon, bandwidths will get more and more clogged.

In a similar vein 5G is also being looked at as a means of releasing some of this bandwidth. It is probable that your wireless router is set to 2.4 Ghz, the most popular. In the future 5Ghz may be used to free up some bandwidth around your tech devices at home. Warning. Before you go changing your routers please ensure that all of devices can operate at this frequency level. Today some cannot.

So what was new at the National Convenience Show this year? P&C had a new fingerprint device to record hours, age recognition etc as well as a number of new partners. TLM demonstrated its alliance with Oracle and Htec had a whole host of new products. CBE was demonstrating its latest range of NCR self checkout solutions including the latest cashless version alongside the convertible unit that not only recycles all of the notes and coins, it also acts as a POS terminal or a self checkout. Perfect for getting your staff into the shop speaking to customers.

How long will it be before the convenience and small supermarket sector grabs self checkout and uses the technology to entice the new emerging demographic?





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