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jgreco at ns.sol.net
Fri Aug 12 07:38:06 CDT 2011
> And why do you think the fridge manufacturers will get it right in
> cheaply-made consumer-grade products, when it's not being done right in
> muh pricier automated self-check-out checkstands? I avoid self-check-out
> checkstands because they fail in one way or another so damnably often.
> My last encounter had the software failing to realize that a package of
> 100 nuts and 100 screws weighed a significan amount; the result was that
> for each such package I tried to check out, I had to have someone from
> the store come over, log in, do something, and log out again. Five times
> *Not* satisfactory.
> I don't expect that the fridge makers will do any better.
That doesn't sound like a software problem. All the automated self-serve
stands I've seen use weight as a primary factor, but this requires that
the data on the acceptable weight-range be properly encoded in its
database. When that happens, a 5 pound box of hardware with the UPC
0-12345-67890-1 will scan fine as long as it's within the listed
acceptable weight range for the product, like maybe 4.9-5.1 pounds.
Hey but you don't mind going over to the register manned by a clerk and
letting him/her scan your purchases, now, do you?
Because THAT was a total train wreck when it first came out. The early
systems never really panned out, and many stores who invested early on
in the technology found themselves reinvesting in newer technology within
a decade. Those that didn't tended to suffer as they coped with limits
inherent in the systems. Customers were distrusting of the technology;
some stores handed out markers so that customers could write the prices
of the items on the items so that they could verify their receipts later.
Problems were so common that many states implemented laws about scanner
But today, thirty years later, this stuff mostly Just All Works Right.
Actually it worked pretty well even fifteen years ago.
Consumer technologies may change faster. For example, it wasn't that
long ago that we were keeping a written grocery list on the fridge.
Today, it's all electronic. The kids can scan(!!!) an item that we
need, and it magically forwards to my phone and my wife's phone, and
we can even shop cooperatively in a store with realtime updates of
the list. The technology isn't 100% perfect, but it's way awesomely
better than a paper list.
It'd be nice to be able to query the fridge to see what's in it.
So I don't expect that the fridge makers will do better ... this year,
or next. But in five or ten years? Yeah, maybe, probably even.
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.
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