advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

A Geek-Friendly Shoe Store

Written by Evan Schuman
May 18th, 2011

Not a lot has changed in the shoe retail business for a very long time, with most still using the metal sliding Brannock shoe measuring device first patented in 1926. A New Jersey company has opened a single retail store in Englewood to try and show how advanced such a movement merchant could be. The store features an array of shoe-measuring devices that use digital scanners, pressure sensors and a Microsoft-powered table that displays pricing, availability and color/design options for any shoe placed on it.

The centerpiece, from a company called Aetrex, is something the store calls iStep Wave and its claim is that it can go beyond measuring shoe size to examine arch type and pressure points—and do it all in half-a-minute. The store says the device uses “3,744 gold-plated barometric sensors that measure the pressure exerted by your foot every 0.25 cm squared and 1,326 infrared LEDs and receptors that are aligned every half millimeter.”

For that boost in sales, the device will also suggest to the customer orthotic accessories.

Once its measurements are complete, it displays the scan of your foot in a colorful presentation on a nearby screen and offers to E-mail or MMS the image for digital retention. Not sure of the point of the file transmission, but Aetrex Spokesperson Karen Pineman said, “You can get this scan that you see on the monitor sent to your E-mail or your mobile. It’s something fun to do.”

Fun to do? Yep, whenever I need an emotional pick me up, I just dash into a shoe store to have my foot scanned so I can add that scan to my foot image collection. Pineman added that she has shared her scans with friends and that it’s not an uncommon thing to do. (I should have learned years ago to never discuss shoe purchasing with women. It’s one gender divide that I somehow doubt will ever be crossed.)

Getting back to the deliciously nerdy details of this store, each shoe has a 2D barcode on it. Well, “on it” suggests a more integrated approach. The barcodes are actually printed on non-fading paper and then literally stapled to the bottom of each shoe. (Hey, it works, OK? Not everything has to be lasers and pressure scanners.)

The store is using a Microsoft Surface table, and it uses digital cameras to read and interpret the barcodes of shoes placed on the specially outfitted table. “Once a shoe with a tag is placed on the table, the system instantaneously displays an interactive image of the shoe along with its product details and description,” said Al Cardona, Aetrex’s senior Web operations manager. “The user can then manipulate the image, resize it, reposition it and select other shoes from other categories that are displayed on the table.”

Cardona said other enhancements are imminent. “In the next evolution of our software, we plan on tying the tags into our inventory ERP and POS system. Currently, we have been working on usability and interactivity for the customer and plan on doing a release that contains more communication with our high-tech systems in the store,” he said.

And what geeker sneaker peeker would be complete without an Apple mobile POS checkout system, which the initial store has.


advertisement

Comments are closed.

Newsletters

StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!
advertisement

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

StorefrontBacktalk
Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.