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U-Scan, or Can You?

ralphs_checkout.jpgMost people have seen these automated checkout machines at their local grocery store.  This one pictured is called “U-SCAN” and is at my local 24 hours Ralphs.  I love that it’s open 24 hours, and it’s also right next to a Best Buy.  Perfect.

If you’ve never seen one, it’s basically a bunch of checkout stands that the customer can operate on their own.  You scan your items over the bar code reader, the same way that the “professional” cashier does it.

You use the touch screen (shown here) and follow the instructions, including using your credit card, ATM card or cash.  You can even use coupons.  Of course, there’s a employee watching to make sure you don’t cheat and put stuff into your bag without scanning them.  I’m sure some people have figured out how to cheat this setup but for me, I use it because it’s fast.

Today, I noticed yet another Windows XP pop-up message on this particular checkout machine.  This one was closed for obvious reasons.

Click on the picture to see a close up of the error message.  It’s kind of a weird one (hope the hard drive is okay), and not as cool as the “blue screen of death,” but still worth this post to remind all of us how nicely Windows XP works for imbedded applications like this.