June 18, 2010

NCR unveils the high-tech, self-serve future

NCR Whiz kids display and offer sneak peek into self-service future. Mark Grossi quoted. Gadgets include posters with RFID, photo recognition (variation of OCR/visual/pattern), devices in cards, and in-home medical services.

By Dan Chapman

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1:36 p.m. Friday, June 18, 2010

Posters at airports that speed hotel check-ins. Doctor visits via TV screen. Cars as personal assistants.

Duluth-based NCR Corp. offered a sneak peak Friday of the self-service future – quick, convenient and high-tech. A handful of Jetson-like features, including next-generation ATMs and grocery store scanners, were unveiled by company engineers and consultants.

Costs weren’t mentioned; the products won’t be on the market for a couple of years. But the NCR whiz kids eagerly discussed cloud-computing, near-field communication and other technologies geared to make easier shopping, driving and life.

“We’re looking to build out scenarios for what the future will look like for the next generation of consumers,” said Mark Grossi, an NCR vice president for product development. “The next generation is more technologically aware. They will have grown up with Nintendo and Play Stations and will have no fear of technology. They are our customers and we are anticipating their needs today.”

Some of the high-tech gadgets previewed:

• Posters embedded with radio-frequency tags to let travelers at airports make hotel reservations. Just tap the poster with your cell phone and a list of hotels, rooms and reservations can be made.

• A photo-based, self-service check-out system for grocery stores that easily scans fruit and other hard-to-tally products.

• Shop while you drive! Perhaps a spouse wants you to stop by the store on the way home. A blinking dashboard light alerts you to a voice message which is also sent ahead to grocery stores on the route home. The driver can chose the store based on distance and price. The groceries await your arrival.

In-home doctor visits. A web cam, finger pad for blood pressure, scales and other medical equipment link a home-bound patient with doctors and nurses via a TV screen.

“Technology changes so fast,” said Dan White, an NCR technology consultant. “We can’t predict what’s going to hit. But we can make bets on some of these trends.”

NCR unveils the high-tech, self-serve future �| ajc.com

Posted by staff at June 18, 2010 01:23 PM