Friday, May 11, 2001

What's the Buzz?

P&G helps test 'Store of Future'

        Procter & Gamble Co. will join with 20 other companies and universities this fall to test its “Store of the Future” technologies in an unidentified North American city.

        P&G officials unveiled the store, along with a “Home of the Future,” to a group of reporters from around the world Thursday. While they look much like everyday stores and homes, P&G is using them to test new technologies.

        For example, the company is looking at using bar codes on products to determine automatically whether it is out of stock. Consumers also could write a shopping list on a wireless product, then transfer that to a device on a shopping cart, which could automatically scan the products.

        In the home, companies like Intel and Hewlett-Packard have placed products that consumers can use to make their everyday lives easier.

        The “smart” store and home was built last year in West Chester Township. The company brings in consumers and retailers to help test technologies.

        Still several years away are virtual-reality shopping experiences that P&G can use to test how attractive products are to consumers.

— Cliff Peale

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