Walmart experiment lets customers scan items using their iPhone

By Shawn Knight
Sep 3, 2012
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  1. Walmart is in the process of testing a new service that would allow customers to scan items using their iPhone. The "Scan & Go" program would help speed up the checkout process in addition to saving millions each year in...

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  2. Amigosdefox

    Amigosdefox TS Booster Posts: 99   +10

    What I don't get is how they will make sure that everything going into the shopping cart will be scanned.
    People could maliciously or accidentally take items without scanning and paying for them.
  3. They won't be able to, but they savings will probably still offset the losses from theft/mistakes. Generally as long as there's even a small potential for being caught (like CCTV or random checks) most people will be honest.
  4. gcarter

    gcarter TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +17

    Why is it that iphone users are chosen instead of android users?
  5. "but they savings will probably still offset the losses from theft/mistakes."

    Yes, totally.

    "Why is it that iphone users are chosen instead of android users?"

  6. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 638   +56

    Hmmm...Brand A looks like Brand B. I like Brand A more, but Brand B is cheaper. *scans Brand B, puts Brand A in cart*

    Yeah how are they going to stop people from doing that? Even if the excuse after getting caught was it was a 'mistake' made while comparing.
  7. Like I said, most people are honest even when there's only a slight chance of being caught. Scanning one product and placing another into the basket is a fairly obvious manoeuvre too. I don't know about the US, but over here in the UK self-service checkouts are ubiquitous and just as easily prone to abuse as this pilot, yet most people use them as intended.
  8. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 798   +217

    Those self-service checkouts have more than one camera on them and are watched very well with security guards near by (in plain clothes so you won't notice them). Don't think that just cause you can't see them that they aren't watching you when you checkout :)
  9. Alexmx

    Alexmx TS Member Posts: 23

    "Why is it that iphone users are chosen instead of android users?"


    iPhone have a superior moral authority than any other people out there; given the status they have because they have an iPhone, I doubt that they would risk that superiority to something mundane like shoplifting

  10. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,618   +494

    The technology can easily be transfered over to android, my only concern is items with built in RFID tags that need to be deactivated before you leave the store. Granted the vast majority of items sold at Walmart do not contain such a device, some items do and require that last step of processing before they leave the store. It's a neat idea, the technology is there, and Walmart does have the power to implement it across the chain. Just needs to be tested very thoroughly to be approved for use.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Thats laughable when I think about my neice (and all other youth) having an iPhone, I definitely wouldn't put shoplifting past her.
  12. I found it interesting that Walmart would experiment with this technology, when they don't even use existing technology in my location. This is not a high crime area, but there are zero self checkout lanes, while other stores in the same location use self checkout lanes. I only go to Walmart for specific items because I rate the checkout poor.
  13. Shoplifter watches you scan an item with your phone. Shoplifter takes the item when you're not looking. It's that easy!
  14. I wonder if it's restricted to iphones, or whether any rectangular (with rounded corners) object will do?
  15. First off....other than rednecks who shops at walmart?
  16. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    Not a relevant statement, and potentially inflammatory. Walmart is a huge chain that most middle class families shop at.

    I think it's a neat idea, but we'll see whether they stick with it. I remember an old commercial where a guy walks through a grocery store taking meat out of the freezers and just putting it in his jacket. This continues for a few minutes until he walks through the checkout aisle, where folks just wave to him as he leaves. Apparently he had some kind of device that automatically deducted the cost of the groceries he "bought" from some account somewhere, but I can't remember what the technology was supposed to be. In any event, that was years ago and we still don't have anything like it, but this is a step in the right direction.
  17. Most, but not all :)

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