The power of a sound Martin Jansson

In my local food store they have this system where you scan the price tags on the food you buy and most often smoothly able to pay and exit without having to stay in any long queues.

Shop Express Scanner

A time back they must have changed software in these scanners because their behavior changed and bugginess increased. The funniest bug or feature, as they themselves would most certainly call it, is when you are finished. You then scan a finish code which then sends a signal to the scanner, then you are able to pay. When you perform this last scan you will now hear a loud beep from the device, previously this beep was used when there was an error of some kind. So, everyone (at least everyone who I have seen do this) perform the last scan and upon hearing the beep they exit the queue and go to the cashier. The cashier then tells it is supposed to sound like that and that it is perfectly normal. This happens every time for everyone, at least once for us technocrats… but prolly each time for those who are a bit scared of technology still. One of the main ideas with using this device is to minimize the effort for the cashier by letting customers check-out on their own. This sound stops that feature.

Another funny bug that have appeared quite recently is that it takes a bit longer to scan wares, I mean from less than a second to close to ten seconds per ware. Pulling up a box of tomato sauce where you must scan each of the 12 cans will now take about two minutes… you just stand there continuously pressing scan… waiting and building up on that hysterical laughter. The idea of Shop Express has lost a bit of its flavour, still when it works as expected it is indeed a lot better than using the normal queue.

One Comment
Henrik Emilsson October 18th, 2009

Lovely story! :-)