To support these technologies, Motorola Solutions has also come out with its first Android-based tablet, ET1. It is an enterprise class productivity device with functionality suited for retail as well as other verticals. It comes with an optional bar coder scanner, mobile payment readers and modules and hot swappable-battery packs.
Motorola has also recently released RhoElements, industry's first framework for developing HTML5 applications on Windows Mobile and Windows CE devices. The beauty of this piece of software is that it enables the applications to run on any operating system.
Anand Mehta, Motorola Solutions' business development director, retail, Asia Pacific
On the one hand, one can say that with new technologies what Motorola is trying to do is to reduce or eliminate the human touch from the shopping experience. On the other, you can call it 'empowering the individual, transforming the retail experience.' Anand Mehta, Motorola Solutions' business development director, retail, Asia Pacific, told me -- "We think that using machines in the shopping experience will make the experience less personal."
"It is otherwise," he says. "The human-machine interface makes the shopping experience more personal and convenient."
The new retail technologies have worked in Europe, where human labour is expensive. But will it work in Asia where labour is relatively cheap?
The opportunity is huge - China alone has seen total new store investments go up by 1000 percent over a 10-year period.
The region has a complex and diverse retail environment, posing many challenges for retailers. "Our goal as a solutions provider is to identify bottlenecks, increase throughput and optimise operational efficiency and staff productivity," says Mehta. "By removing the technology pain points, we allow the retailer to focus on his business."
We will wait and see if Asia's retailers warm up to the new retail technologies. As of the consumers, I am sure most are tech savvy and eager enough to embrace a smoother shopping experience.
Zafar Anjum is the online editor of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia.
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