Greyhound Installs Touchscreen Displays In Bus Stations

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 1997 SEP 16 (NB) -- By Sami Menefee. Javelin Systems Inc. [NASDAQ:JVLN] says its NexDisplay-5 touchscreen computer systems are now installed in Greyhound bus stations across the US that sell food and souvenirs. The giant bus company uses Ibertech's Aloha QuickService application software to handle the actual transactions, according to a Javelin spokesperson.

Marty Tullio, vice president of Javelin's investor relations told Newsbytes: "The flexible system installed at Greyhound stations lets food service and gift shop employees use a touchscreen to take the customer's order, transmit the order, and take the customer's money." Touchscreens are good, she explained, for times when food items might get spilled on a keyboard. She added that the same application works well for both food service and retail shops.

Different, optional ports can be installed on the system, depending on customer need. For Greyhound, Tullio said, "After-market cash drawers compliment the cash drawer ports. Other ports accept credit card transactions or special Greyhound employee meal chits. These ports plug into the back of the system and record payment types. Makes end-of-the-day record keeping much easier," she added.

"This system is valuable for Greyhound's uses because it can handle both food service and retail databases," Tullio said. She added, "Another way our system is unique for the food service industry is that it can use any Windows-friendly off-the-shelf software.

"Our systems run any compatible software, on a broad range of PC platforms and operating system -- on Microsoft's DOS, older Windows, Windows 95, or NT. We don't require that companies who buy our hardware also buy our special, proprietary software." She further explained that the computerized food service industry has been kept proprietary because of the requirement only to run a hardware vendor's special software.

She explained the flexibility of the NexDisplay-5. Depending on what ports are chosen at each location, the system can even read and approve a traveler's credit card purchases when swiped through the system. Tullio added that the system uses an active screen display, meaning that a user can touch the screen with a pencil and it will still read the request. The display is not heat sensitive and a keyboard could be added to program more than what is on the screen, depending on customer needs.

She told Newsbytes the system could be used in a completely on-the- fly self-service food operation. Customers could order, receive, and pay for food or other items with the swipe of a credit or debit card. It's not set up that way in Greyhound stations, for various reasons, she added.

Tullio told Newsbytes that Javelin plans to present an information kiosk soon, where a customer would walk up to a store's system, point at an item, and have it paid for and delivered, either to a pickup location inside the store or to another location.

She also said Javelin is close to releasing a kiosk-type information system for music stores. "If a customer wants a certain song, but isn't sure of the title, the system would show a list of songs by that artist. The customer would highlight one or more songs. The program, hooked to the Internet, would search for a sound clip of a particular and play the song for the customer to decide."