If you happen to be an iPhone or iPad owner living in the UK then you may want to check out a new service being offered at Tesco stores which will utilize your iOS devices. The grocery chain has begun allowing consumers to scan bar codes with a special device as they shop, then merely present the total to the cashier at checkout, pay the bill and be on their way. Currently the service is only supported in Tesco’s Romford, Essex shop, but the chain plans to roll out the service to the rest of the country in 2011. The relevant issue here is that the company wants to implement the same service for iPhones and iPads, and they believe they’re on the cusp of pulling it off.
Tesco is also experimenting with using wireless access points to determine a customer’s location in the store and allowing individuals to be directed to specific items on their shopping list. The idea is that Tesco can use pinpoint GPS to guide consumers through stores to their desired items, or even pop up coupons or special offers for items in the aisle in which the customer is currently shopping. This particular offering is a bit further off than the iOS scanning though, as Tesco is currently trying to iron out kinks involving store layouts and local interference. Still, as anyone who has wandered a grocery store for a half-hour while trying to find that last thing on the list can attest, this sounds like a great idea.