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HP's Retail Store Assistant: a wallet's worst enemy

Darren Murph

Fellas, if you thought Ralph Lauren's literal window shopping contraption was your wallet's arch-rival, we've got some unfortunate news, and for the ladies (or guys) who just love to spend it up, HP's about to become your very best friend. The clever gurus at HP Labs have developed a marketer's dream tool that enables customers to enter a retail store, swipe a card, and instantly receive a printout (shown after the jump) that includes "a personalized shopping list, relevant coupons, notice of associated store discounts or sales, and even a map to where the items can be found in the store." The inaccurately named Retail Store Assistant (we were thinking more along the lines of Wallet Depleter) is currently in the "experimental" stage, and would include an in-store kiosk which customers could access via a loyalty card or by inputting their phone number. Of course, this isn't the first stab we've seen at retailers using previous history to target consumers, but the team behind this apparatus insists that it will be much more effective than the typical junk mail that barely graces our eyes before hitting the trash. Best Worst of all, the system will reportedly be available even on the web, meaning that those with an urge to shop can log on during the waning hours of the workday and plan out their shopping spree for maximum efficiency. Oh, the humanity.

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