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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December 2004, 10:44 GMT
NI firm behind 'smart' trollies
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The trollies are said to speed up shopping
A Northern Ireland company is helping to create "intelligent" shopping trollies designed to speed up online shopping.

Lisburn-based IT company Xperience is supplying 300 Tesco stores with the technology to build Smart trollies.

These trollies have a computer attached to them which displays shopping lists from online customers.

It enables personal shoppers, in different parts of the supermarket, to fulfil multiple orders simultaneously.

They use wireless technology and allow Tesco.com staff to pick goods intelligently for online shoppers from anywhere in the shop
Joe Davey

The contract, which was won by Xperience and computing company Xybernaut, is said to be worth several million pounds.

Joe Davey of Xperience said it was equipping Tesco.com with 5,000 pre-imaged trolley-mounted computers, and a full set of support services.

"The Atigo computers, made by our American supplier Xybernaut, are attached to shopping trolleys and display customer shopping lists," he said.

"They use wireless technology and allow Tesco.com staff to pick goods 'intelligently' for online shoppers from anywhere in the shop."

'On-screen prompts'

In the new system, online customers' information is distributed from Tesco's central server to the stores.

Staff are guided throughout the store, following on-screen prompts for items and their locations.

An attached barcode reader allows them to scan picked items into the system and place them in the right basket on the trolley before progressing to the next product on the list.

Once this has been completed, the trolleys are returned to the back of the store, ready for each customer's order to be assembled and then delivered.

Mike Yorwerth, Head of Operations and Infrastructure for Tesco.com, said: "Of all the solutions we considered when looking to upgrade our picking process, the Xperience and Xybernaut offering was by far the most powerful and convenient.

"Our pickers like it because it is fast, compatible with existing systems, and has a clear, bright screen display.

"From an IT point of view it suits our needs perfectly in that it is tough, intelligent technology, which can easily be integrated."

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