Tesco Finder, our R&D app currently available for iPhone, is ideal for trying out new ideas that come in from customers and staff. Not all ideas will be implemented but we like to try them out in a research context to test the art of the possible.
Here's one example: use Tesco Finder to scan items as you proceed to shop in a Tesco store then have the app transfer the scanned items to a self-scan checkout so you don't have to re-scan them.
To make it work, the self-scan checkout has a special barcode which Tesco Finder uses to identify it. When the customer arrives at the checkout, they scan the identifying barcode and then put the items into bags as normal. While they are bagging the products, the app connects to a wifi network and sends the scanned products contained in a file (named with the self-scan checkout's identifier) to a staging server.
All the checkouts monitor the server continuously waiting for a file 'with their name on it' whereupon it is downloaded and ingested into the checkout software in an instant. The scanned products are displayed on the screen as if the customer had scanned them in to the checkout manually.
All the customer has to do then is pay and go. Nice and quick - and fits snugly with Tesco Finder's philosophy of helping the customer get quickly to the products.
Now please remember that this is a proof of concept and not going into Tesco Finder's production version any time soon. R&D is here to prove that the technology can deliver an improvement in the customer service without major system rewriting - and so our job here is completed successfully.
We now have to leave to our security and production IT people to understand how Tesco could detect customer who doesn't quite scan everything that goes into their basket....
This special proof-of-concept addition to the features of Tesco Finder was developed by Ben Martin who has recently joined Tesco.com R&D from his 'old' Tesco PLC equivalent team - and then proceeded to work with both Dotcom and 'PLC together to help the deliver the project. Ben is also well known for delivering the Tesco Clubcard app for iPhone, so Tesco Finder is in capable hands.