Apple’s iPad Replacing Cash Registers at Major Retailers

Apple’s iPad Replacing Cash Registers at Major Retailers

At larger stores cash registers are connected to an inventory server either locally or in the cloud. At some point someone’s going to write an app that allows an iPad to hook into that system.

I’m reminded of what Apple does in their own stores: employees carry around small devices that allow the entire transaction (including credit card swipe and signature) to take place anywhere in the store wirelessly.

Then we have “near field communication” and the ability to pay for things with a smartphone by simply having an account and being near a terminal and saying “ok.”

This is just the beginning of a new way of transacting business, how it looks ten years from now will be quite different.

Hardware software disintegration

HP’s webOS Reportedly Runs Significantly Faster on iPad 2 Than on TouchPad

It’s old news that HP has decided to sell off its computer business. The fact that the tablet and smartphone OS that Palm had in the works that HP bought runs faster on an iPad (iOS) or even as a web application under Safari is significant. What’s even more significant to me is the reason for the sluggishness:

The report notes that the TouchPad hardware had essentially already been designed when HP acquired Palm last year, with the engineers tasked with getting webOS running on the existing design. The resulting handicap of outdated hardware reportedly crippled the webOS team’s ability to innovate for the tablet platform and ultimately led to the poor market reception.

This strikes me as a blunder of enormous proportions and this is the place where Apple has consistently done better than the competition: Macs are designed to run OS X and OS X is designed to run on Macs. iPhones and iPads (and other devices) are designed to run iOS and iOS is designed to run on these devices.

Tight integration between hardware and software is one of the many ingredients of Apple’s success. It seems a shame that webOS, what many have considered a decent operating system, is orphaned because HP didn’t built hardware specifically for it. Why they didn’t do that is no doubt all about internal politics.

Which leads me to this: Steve Jobs is certainly a genius when it comes to product innovation and marketing but what may be his most important attribute is his ability to cut through the politics and push through what needs to be pushed through to get well designed products shipped.

Line2 and the sea of communications apps

Line2 is an app for the iPad that offers voice over IP and other integrated communications for $10 a month.

Whether this particular application does well or not this class of application coupled with the explosion in smart cell phone use is putting even more pressure on land lines. Skype, FaceTime , iChat, iMessage, and no doubt many more communications tools running on IP including those from Google will make the breakup of AT&T seem like a non-event. May the best one win and may there continue to be plenty of competition. So far competition isn’t keeping prices down anywhere but maybe we’ll all live long enough to see inexpensive or even free ad-supported communication over IP.

I continue to use and love iChat for text chatting and video but am using FaceTime as well. And, yes, I do text on my iPhone although I’d prefer texting and chatting merged at some point.

[via endgadget]

Beaver pond reflection

Beaver pond reflection

We hiked up on Schaghticoke ridge south of Kent, Connecticut and just on the New York/Connecticut border we found the lower end of a long beaver pond/swamp. We hiked along the eastern edge of it and there were “chews” everywhere where beaver had brought trees down or taken saplings down. We never saw the lodge nor did we get to the other end of the pond which may have been miles long so no sight of a dam. But, plenty of evidence that the beaver(s) have been busy.

This reflection was too good to pass up.

Google Wallet

Amazing, an entire two and a half minute video of retail folks talking about Google Wallet and only one image of someone actually using it. Ugh.

Google unveiled their mobile payment service today called Google Wallet. It uses NFC (near field communications) to allow you to use your phone as you would a credit card.

No doubt this and other things like it are the future, but this is not a great introduction for those who haven’t been following these kinds of developments.

Here’s how it works.

And a video on how it works from Endgadget:

[via Jon Moss]