Grocery Stores May Be the Fertile Crescent for M2M

By Carl Ford November 14, 2012

When speaking with Oyvind Birkenes of Texas Instruments about the ‘Internet of Things,’ we traversed a variety of topics. It’s easy to understand why, since with Texas Instruments you have “the most complete wireless connectivity portfolio.” But don’t interpret that to be only cellular. For instance, when we got on to the topic of grocery stores we hit a place where a lot of implementations all converged.

Here is what’s possible:

If you live in Europe, or have been to Stop & Shop (and probably other AHO owned grocery stores in the U.S.), you will discover that the point of sale has become a bit more flexible. We have scanner guns we can use to make the register easier.    The next iteration of that will probably be the grocery cart itself acting as the checkout lane on the go.

In the lanes of course were advertising strategies and depending on how well the analytics were managed, could lead to Minority Report-like advertising either from your cart or digital signage.

Now that coped with the consumer taking groceries off the shelf, but the shelves themselves could be part of the implementation tracking what needed to be restocked, reordered or returned.

It followed that we have come to supply chain and cold chain with the fleet of suppliers delivering to the store. I have a tendency to think of Walmart as the big RFID player in the market so understanding that grocery store implementations were being implemented made me wonder if the cloud was enabling every grocery store to compete with Walmart. Walmart thinks in terms of inventory rollover and its pricing models use the volume to hit a target rather than the individual item. Does that mean that every grocery store will implement M2M to compete? It certainly sounded that way. 

So that was the exciting thoughts that came to mind, but the original discussion was actually driven by some new announcements. We discussed one of TI’s latest announcements, the availability of its Bluetooth® low energy SensorTag kit. 

"For manufacturers, Bluetooth low energy enables a very simple and efficient way of connecting their application to the cloud through a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The SensorTag kit allows manufacturers to quickly and easily evaluate the benefits of adding Bluetooth low energy to their device or build new applications," said Oyvind Birkenes, general manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI.

The press release continues… The SensorTag kit is currently aimed at iOS-based applications. The iOS SensorTag App used in the evaluation process can be downloaded for free here. TI plans to provide SensorTag Apps and support for Android and Windows 8 as more Bluetooth low energy-enabled devices roll-out.

For more information visit:

The bottom line is that M2M dramatically impacts the bottom line when implemented and its worth checking out.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

Partner, Crossfire Media

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