This year will see many changes in the provision of point-of-sale systems in the UK. Torex/Micros/Oracle seems to have passed the mantle for sales to other parties and several have taken partnerships with Oracle for the supply of systems at various different levels. But a word of caution when seeking new systems this year always ensure that the system you are being sold actually exists and is not just a plan in someone’s mind.

New entrants to the market are sometimes a refreshing change to what has gone before, but sometimes they don’t have all of the functionality that’s promised.

Check that you are buying a credible system with some installations in place and that the company concerned is able to fulfil its obligations to you.

So, what else is coming to market this year? NCR is promoting its latest range of self-checkouts using CBE as a partner.

There are primarily three variants of the NCR offering: Standard is a normal self-checkout with cash management, scales and cards; Self-learning is a hybrid which has the ability to transform into a cashier-based epos system when not being used as a self-checkout; and the third variant, Cashless, is a smaller profile and has a number of mount and display options.

I believe that the cashless variant is perfect for the convenience market. It is a neat unit that can sit close to others in store.

The major c-store chains are using self-checkout not only to reduce staff costs, but also to provide the customer with a speedy route to completing the transaction.

Prior to any installation, a detailed set of questionnaires needs to be completed to ensure that you obtain the correct products for your store.

Datalogic has launched a new scanner scale, the Magellan9800i, which as well as having a larger weighing platform is using digital imaging instead of laser to read the barcode, whether it is 1D or 2D.

It also has an optional arm (TDR) that can read the customer’s phone for use with promotional activity.

Gadget wise, I think there is going to be a lot more of the same.

Fitness checkers, weight monitors and blood pressure devices are getting faster, smaller and more functional "the world in your watch" as it were.