The Apple Store and Walmart might seem like they're on completely opposite ends of the retail spectrum. They often share one similarity though, like hellish interiors teaming with to many, sweating, breathing, sneezing, coughing, occasionally corpulent customers. Walmart's trying out a new Apple-y, iPhone-based payment system that could make escape a little easier.
The "Scan & Go" system, which was just tested by employees at a supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas doesn't exactly let customers pay with iPhone, but it's a step in that direction. Under the system, customers walk around picking up whatever low, low priced merchandise they can get their hands on, and immediately scan it with the phone. Then, on leaving, instead of standing in line for several decades, customers can check themselves out at the self-checkout stations using the list of items that is already on their phone.
Ideally, this kind of system could greatly improve the efficiency of self-checkout systems everywhere, which can be clogged up by customers who just can't figure out what they're doing. The iPhone could cut out that pesky scanning step. It could also let Walmart spend way less money on actual flesh-and-blood cashiers. It's an interesting move for a store that isn't exactly known for having what you might consider to be especially tech-savvy customers. That said, anything to help you beat a hastier retreat from a crowded Walmart's infernal confines is a good thing, should you somehow find yourself inside of one. [Reuters]