Friendly retail

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A friendly retail location is one that assists Consumerium Service access for its customers. There are potentially "very friendly" retailers who also install healthy buying infrastructure specifically to deliver the Consumerium buying signal reliably. These are expected to be few in number.

interfaces

Keeping the solution eyesfree and handsfree for users, quite important at retail shelf and checkout counter where eyes and hands are usually busy, and accomodating ads and announcements which stores often need to broadcast anyway, suggests that audio is probably the most likely solution.

However, it is possible to simply offer print books with the score or price premium of all products stocked, at some prominent indoor location.

wireless

Looking specifically at wireless alternatives useful for friendly retail in the near or medium term:

DECT in-store

Eventually, as with the rest of healthy signal infrastructure, probably the DECT standards are required, and friendly retail should be encouraged to move this way: By reducing the number of devices to just one, this cuts e-waste. DECT can replace the existing phone infrastructure used in the friendly retail location, and provide huge advantages for multiple location organizations. It is "equally suited for data and voice services in all environments, be it for a single line with one cordless phone, or for a large-scale system with several thousand users on various sites," so, can deal with very small one-location retailers and huge discount stores equally well.

"In a multi-cell system such as a cordless PBX, handover from cell to cell is fully transparent to the user." Since it cuts the carrier out of the billing loop, as, for instance, each supermarket can carry traffic from the whole area surrounding it, without ever resorting to a carrier. If a manager of one store makes a call while at another store, everything is carried over the store net - not a public carrier.

DECT in the street

Several cooperating DECT sites constitute a "seamless mobile communications environment serving just a few up to several thousand users on one or more sites. The DECT digital radio technology permits very high densities of users to be served, in a secure and robust way and to profit by both voice and data services with a single infrastructure." This includes replacing regular phone and cell and WiFi service:

In Wireless Local Loop (WLL) DECT is "a rapidly available, low-cost, high-quality radio alternative to wired subscriber local loops, to bring public network voice and data services to subscribers. It enables quick network deployment, coverage to be built up as needed, and can be used as a replacement for the wireline, thereby reducing the initial capital investment for the operator." Some multi-location retailers, notably GM, have put in orders for this equipment as soon as it's robust, to cover all dealers and suppliers - and anyone in or near their lots or plants or offices. Starbucks is another that has worked with carriers to provide WiFi and cell coverage already in its stores, that reaches out ot the street. Finding those retailers who seek also to become more general service providers could identify a pilot project that could enable both Consumerium Services and marketing by these retailers, e.g. Starbucks retailing of fair trade coffee, etc.

GSM

"DECT and GSM networks... can combine with the complementary strengths of both standards, to give users full mobility with integrated dual-mode handsets."

Probably the GSM networks (say based on Python integration of worn devices with too much brains) are deployed as the pilot solution, but over time, simpler/dumber devices receive audio signals from large servers, eventually perhaps relying on FM radio channels dedicated within the store.