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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Making Electronic Coupons Easier

Larry Loper sends along a Mercury News Article : Hoping that Digital Coupons Will Cut it. This is about breakthrough work by Cupertino company Ecrio. The article is not about their Mobeam technology, which allows you to transmit electronic coupons from cellphones to standard supermarket scanners, but rather about the research process and it's sometimes odd turns. Describing their newest piece of work:
" ... the gadget translates coupon bar codes loaded from the Web into quick light bursts that trick supermarket scanners into thinking they are reading the coupons themselves. Point the so-called ClipPod at a scanner, press a button and bingo, the coupon savings is deducted from the grocery total ... "

This technology was at FMI and demonstrated at our innovation center because it showed how commonly installed existing technology, such as supermarket checkout scanners, can be used to create new value. It's this kind of piggybacking research that can leapfrog the costs and complexity involved.

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