A Price Checker that Makes Phone Calls

Motorola introduces a wireless price checker that can also make phone calls over a VOIP connection.

Motorola introduced a wireless scanner designed for price and inventory-checks on Jan. 14 that also makes voice calls over a VOIP connection.

Motorola said that the unit-called the CA50-"is expected to be available globally in the first quarter of 2008." The CA50's purpose is to eliminate the need for store-wide pages on the retail floor through a device most employees are already using.

The downside is that the devices will sell for more than $500 each, according to the Wall Street Journal. Thus many retailers will be hesitant to pay that much to equip all store employees with one.

Retailers that want to purchase the devices only for select employees may not be able to leverage the communication feature, making a traditional price-checker more cost-effective.

Motorola also announced Jan. 14 that a 389-store regional grocery chain, Stop & Shop, has purchased a small shopping assistant package from Motorola.

The chain has stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey. The EasyShop system was introduced by Motorola last year. Motorola did not say when Stop & Shop bought the system, only that the chain was "the first."