CeBIT 2015, wrapping up in Hannover, Germany, and featuring tech innovations from 3,300 exhibitors and 70 nations, was the ideal place to learn about cutting-edge products for businesses and consumers alike. While China was this year’s CeBIT partner country, much of the barcode, scanning, and sensor news came from European and U.S.-based companies. Below are four companies we discovered at CeBIT 2015 that are especially relevant to the new directions the barcode/pos industry is going.
Evopark is taking the electronic toll collection (ETC) model and applying it to parking, combining RFID, QR codes, and GPS along the way. The Cologne-based startup is currently testing the concept in Duesseldorf, where drivers can use its mobile app to find garages with available parking—including the number of spaces open at the time. Their Evopark card, with an embedded RFID chip, allows them to track and pay for parking without handling cash or playing with ticket takers or payment machines. Instead, they receive detailed monthly billing for all of their parking. Shops and offices near the garages can let Evopark customers scan a QR code for parking discounts, today’s version of the parking stamp.
[Embedded Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPalUjlabas ]
[View a two-minute video of Evopark in action (German with English subtitles)]
Relayr has won the CODE_n Award at CeBIT 2015 for its “WunderBar” product, described as “looking like a chocolate bar” but “packed with cutting-edge sensor technology.” The sensors are designed to be broken off “like chunks of chocolate” and attached to physical objects, communicating via Bluetooth low energy. Relayr provides developers with the tools to prototype and create smartphone apps using the sensors as inputs for temperature, humidity, and movement. The theme of this year’s CODE_n Contest was the Internet of Things (IoT), which relies heavily on RFID and other sensor technologies throughout the world.
[Embedded Video: https://youtu.be/soH0eAOrRdU ]
[The Internet of Things now looks like chocolate]
Loopd, a finalist in the CODE_n Award won by Relayr, brought its wearable tradeshow badge technology from San Francisco to CeBIT. The San Francisco-based proximity marketing company replaces paper badges with bi-directional smart tags that collect information about which booths attendees visit and who they meet along the way, tracking and measuring interactions between decision makers and company representatives.
While payment systems like Apple Pay and Bitcoin continue to grab headlines, a startup in Hamburg is rolling out another alternative—social currency—at CeBIT. Essentially, PayOrShare offers vendors or publishers the ability to “pay” for online subscriptions (paywalls), in-game purchases, and actual goods with “likes” and “follows” instead of money. Publishers can give customers the option to pay actual micro payments via the PayOrShare system as well.
[Video link: https://youtu.be/SYsQYnJtmgk ]
[PayOrShare turns social mentions into payments (German only)]
About the Author
Eric Moody covers bar code and POS industry events worldwide, with a particular eye toward new product development and user experience. A graduate of Brown University and Thunderbird School of Global Management, he was formerly editor of Business Digest magazine. He has been active in the retail systems world for more than 20 years.