Posted April 7, 2003 Atlanta
In a field test of a prototype PDA system developed by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers, shoppers reported that the device made shopping easier and more efficient. Shoppers tended to avoid impulse buys and also found items in the store more quickly. On the downside, shoppers did not like holding the PDA while shopping, and some suggested a docking station on the shopping cart -- an idea explored, but not tested in this study.
"It's still an unanswered question as to whether the PDA is the right device for use in grocery stores," said Georgia Tech Associate Professor of Computing John Stasko, who supervised the project. "Our study clearly showed some potential. But the devil is in the details."
Stasko's former students Erica Newcomb and Toni Pashley, who graduated with master's degrees last year, will present the details in a presentation titled "Mobile Computing in the Retail Arena" on April 9 at the Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 2003 meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The study, funded in part by NCR, involved extensive background research -- including observation and interviews with shoppers and a shopping survey -- before designing and testing a prototype in a Kroger store in Atlanta.