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7-Eleven thinks it can go cashier-less. It's wrong.

Evan Schuman | May 26, 2017
There's a massive difference between retailers using technology to free up associates to do more hands-on work and using that technology to replace those associates

Let's get practical. The reasons why this automated scanning won't work fall into two broad categories: accidental and deliberate. How many RFID tags are not correctly scanned today in retail warehouses? Accidents happen. But how easy would it be for a shoplifter to surround the tag with enough aluminum foil to block the signal? Block that signal and it's blind to the automated reader but quite visible to humans. Make it easier for the store and you're also making it easier for the thief.

How much can you trust fully automated systems? A Bloomberg story on this Japanese convenience move raises the stakes further: "Exit gates would open when mobile or card payments have been received."

Does that mean that exit gates would refuse to open until its CPU was convinced that everything was in order? What if there's a fire and all customers need to leave immediately? What if a toddler runs out and a mother needs to give immediate chase? Letting RFID systems operate without a net is asking for a disaster.

Source: Computerworld US


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