Supermarkets without barcodes

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 28th October 2011

A US entrepreneur has unveiled a supermarket checkout and stock management system that he claims would eliminate the need for barcodes.

Ran Margalit, the creator of ShelfX, says his system will end “cumbersome lines at checkout counters” at grocery stores.

The ShelfX system uses radio frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFC) technology. Launching the system today, Mr Margalit said that a ShelfX ‘Smart Shelf’, equipped with highly-sensitive scales, knows the exact item and quantity of the item being stocked.

According to Mr Margalit, when a shopper approaches the shelf with an RFID-enabled ShelfX Card to take an item, the ShelfX system greets the customer by name, tells them what they have purchased, offers discounts and additional suggestions based on their customer profile, and processes their payment. On the back-end, the inventory is automatically updated.

Mr Margalit said, “The customer enters the store, takes their items and leaves; no waiting in lines. Since pricing is updated by store managers in real-time using ShelfX software, the manual process of labeling shelves during store promotions or regular updates is not necessary.

“Similarly, since the checkout process is done automatically, retailers can optimise staffing levels and avoid the time-consuming practice of scanning barcodes and manually entering SKU codes.”