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IBM Anyplace Kiosk — New technology for retailers

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You’re at the grocery store. You’re hungry. You want to buy just a few items, get in, and get out. But queues at the counter are long. So, what do you do?

If you’re like one of the 52 per cent people surveyed by IBM recently, you’d probably go immediately to the self-checkout area, where the line generally moves more briskly, people aren’t pushing carts full of goods, and you can go at your own pace.

And there it is, control and convenience, just two of the reasons the self-service market has boomed in the past few years. IBM is banking on that trend to continue.

The company, which already delivers self-service technology to Circuit City, Food Lion, Lowes Foods and a host of other retailers in the United States, is making another big push into the market with the international launch of the second-generation Anyplace Kiosk.

Designed and tested at IBM’s facilities in Research Triangle Park, the new Anyplace is faster, more versatile, and comes with more customisation possibilities.

It has stirred the imagination of industry watchers, who say it has the potential to open new ways for retailers to sell and advertise goods to consumers.

Anyplace can be a grocery checkout point, a point of service in a clothing store for teens, the reference point at a home improvement store – a reflection of IBM designers’ and executives’ vision of what the kiosk could mean to different businesses.

The new Anyplace doesn’t have to be just a flat screen. Its borders can be customised to display ads and be cut into any shape within a two-foot square, or inserted into an existing kiosk.

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