Surround-Sound Ads Make Their Way to Retailers Registers

While consumers are captive as they wait to pay for their groceries, VeriFone wants to sell to them with 65,356-color displays and digital stereo sound, all running Linux.

With American retailers preparing to replace their aging point-of-sale units at record rates, a retail POS vendor called VeriFone wants to flood checkout lanes with Linux-based full-motion video, 65,356-color displays and digital stereo sound.

The new unit—dubbed the MX870—is designed to deliver animated ads and demos in a loud, attention-demanding manner, which is not hard when customers have no choice but to stand in line.

"Retailers are very much looking to extend their brands," said Marcus Hodge, a product marketing manager at VeriFone.

"They want to use the POS lane to communicate with customers more effectively. Its like a retailer having their own television network, with the ability to run any kind of animation."

The POS system is also intended to automatically handle many of todays retail POS needs, including RFID, smart cards, biometric identification (fingerprint primarily) and various touch technologies.

The MX870 uses a 32-bit ARM9 processor, the Linux operating system, 16 Mbytes of SDRAM and 32MB of Flash memory, which is upgradeable to a total of 128 MByte for SDRAM and flash memory combined.

Hodge said the system boasts a smaller footprint, which beats by one or two inches the width, height and depth of existing POS displays.

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