GB2350458A - Recording transactions involving goods eg EPOS - Google Patents

Recording transactions involving goods eg EPOS Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2350458A
GB2350458A GB9912324A GB9912324A GB2350458A GB 2350458 A GB2350458 A GB 2350458A GB 9912324 A GB9912324 A GB 9912324A GB 9912324 A GB9912324 A GB 9912324A GB 2350458 A GB2350458 A GB 2350458A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
product
transaction
arrangement according
arranged
product data
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9912324A
Other versions
GB9912324D0 (en
Inventor
Darren Arrowsmith
George Oldridge
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
M & O Business Systems Ltd
Original Assignee
* M & O BUSINESS SYSTEMS LIMITED
M & O BUSINESS SYSTEMS LTD
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by * M & O BUSINESS SYSTEMS LIMITED, M & O BUSINESS SYSTEMS LTD filed Critical * M & O BUSINESS SYSTEMS LIMITED
Priority to GB9912324A priority Critical patent/GB2350458A/en
Publication of GB9912324D0 publication Critical patent/GB9912324D0/en
Publication of GB2350458A publication Critical patent/GB2350458A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07GREGISTERING THE RECEIPT OF CASH, VALUABLES, OR TOKENS
    • G07G1/00Cash registers
    • G07G1/0036Checkout procedures
    • G07G1/0045Checkout procedures with a code reader for reading of an identifying code of the article to be registered, e.g. barcode reader or radio-frequency identity [RFID] reader
    • G07G1/0054Checkout procedures with a code reader for reading of an identifying code of the article to be registered, e.g. barcode reader or radio-frequency identity [RFID] reader with control of supplementary check-parameters, e.g. weight or number of articles
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07GREGISTERING THE RECEIPT OF CASH, VALUABLES, OR TOKENS
    • G07G1/00Cash registers
    • G07G1/0018Constructional details, e.g. of drawer, printing means, input means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07GREGISTERING THE RECEIPT OF CASH, VALUABLES, OR TOKENS
    • G07G1/00Cash registers
    • G07G1/12Cash registers electronically operated

Abstract

An EPOS system comprising till units (3) served by a local server (2) includes a touch-screen display (7) which is arranged to display a number of product illustrations potentially matching a product being bought by a customer if a scanner (5) fails to read a barcode. The operative can select the matching product and a database then provides pricing and other information required for the EPOS transaction.

Description

2350458 Agent's Ref. P02504GB TRANSACTION PROCESSING ARRANGEMENT AND

METHOD The present invention relates to an arrangement and method for processing transactions involving goods and relates particularly but not exclusively to Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems.

Such arrangements typically include a terminal equipped with a scanner (e. g. an optical barcode scanner) for reading barcodes or other product codes on the goods or their packaging. The terminal typically has access to a product code database which enables a price to be assigned to each bar-coded or otherwise coded product. In this manner the manual entry of pricing information is avoided and delays and possible pricing errors associated therewith are avoided.

However, it sometimes happens that an item that a customer wishes to buy has no barcode, has an illegible barcode, or has a barcode that is not yet included in the database. It then becomes necessary for the till operator or another member of staff to hunt for the price of that item e. g. on the shelves where the item is stored.

This causes considerable delay and inconvenience.

An object of the present invention is to overcome or alleviate such disadvantages.

In one aspect the invention provides an arrangement for recording transactions involving goods, the arrangement comprising an electronic transaction terminal arranged to access a database of product data associated with product illustrations, the transaction terminal having display means arranged to display at 2 least the product illustrations to a user for comparison with said goods, the transaction terminal having user-operable means for accessing the product data of a product displayed by the display means and having transaction processing means arranged to process the transaction by reference to the accessed product data.

Preferably said product data comprises product codes (e.g. barcodes) identifying particular products.

Preferably said transaction terminal is provided with scanning means arranged to read the product codes labelling said goods or their packaging and is arranged to search said database, optionally under the guidance of the user, for a matching illustration in the event of a failure of an attempted reading of a product code.

In another aspect the invention provides a method of processing transactions involving goods, wherein the goods are scanned for product data on the goods themselves or their packaging, and in response to a failure to read such product data a database of product illustrations is searched and product data associated with respective product illustrations is located by visually comparing the illustration as electronically displayed with the actual product.

Preferred features of the invention are defined in the dependent claims.

One embodiment of the invention is described below by way of example only with reference to Figures 1 to 14 of the accompanying drawings, wherein:

3 Figure 1 is a block diagram illustrating an EPOS system in accordance with the invention; Figure 2 is a flow diagram illustrating the operation of a transaction terminal in the arrangement of Figure 1; Figure 3 is a screen shot of the touch.screen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 4 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 5 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 6 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 7 is a further screen shot of the touch.screen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 8 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 9 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; 4 Figure 10 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 11 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 12 is a further screen shot of the touchscreen display of the above transaction terminal; Figure 13 shows a printout of a transaction report generated by the arrangement of Figure 1, and Figure 14 shows a printout of a further transaction report generated by the arrangement of Figure 1.

Referring to Figure 1, the arrangement comprises a remote master server 1 having e.g. a Pentiumt 333 processor, 1 GB RAM and a 27 GB hard drive, connected to a number of local servers 2, designated LS1, LS2.... LSn, each local server being located at a respective retail site and the master server 1 being located at e.g. a headquarters building of the retail organisation or at the premises of an outside computer services provider. Each local server 2 has e.g. a Pentiumt 166 microprocessor and a 1 GB hard drive and 32 MB RAM and is arranged to store a product database PD including product illustrations in association with the product barcodes and prices. The database is initially downloaded from, and subsequently updated, by the master server 1 and appropriate database interrogation software S/W is similarly downloaded and updated as shown. The master server 1 and local servers 2 are each provided with a conventional display D and keyboard K and run e.g. a Windows 95 NT operating system.

Each local server 2 is connected by a local area network to a number of till units 3, designated TU1, TU2,... TUn which are each located at the same retail premises and are provided with e.g. Pentiunig 166 microprocessors, 1.8 GB hard drives and 32 MB RAM running a Windows(& 95 operating system. As win be subsequently explained in more detail, each till unit 2 downloads product information (including product illustrations) product barcodes and prices from its associated local server and also downloads from its local server the software SW' it needs to process the product sales or other transactions and generally perform the operations illustrated in Figure 2. The software SW'can be updated from the remote master server I if necessary. The till units 3 are also arranged to upload log files LF containing transaction data (e.g. products sold, products with barcodes missing) to their local servers 2, where the log files are forwarded to the master server 1.

One till unit TUI is shown in more detail in Figure 1 and comprises e.g. an IM 300 unit 6 having a touch-screen display 7, a till receipt printer 18 and a connection to an optical barcode scanner 5. The above assembly is supported on, and controls, a cash drawer 4. To this end the IM 300 unit 6 is provided with standard OPOS drivers. It is also provided with a numerical display 11 for displaying prices to a customer, a keyboard port 8 for connection to a keyboard (not shown - for use by a supervisor e.g. for entering new user and password data) and a keyswitch 9 which can switch the till unit to different operational modes when operated by a supervisor's key 10.

6 The user interface and operation of the till unit will now be described in more detail with reference to Figure 2. Since many of the steps proceed only if there is an input from the user, such user inputs are shown as "USER I/P" without further explanation.

The START stage 10 is reached by switching on the till unit 3 with key 10. Start and stop buttons B 1 and B2 are displayed (Figure 3). On touching button B 1, IM 300 unit 6 interrogates the local server 2 (step 20) to see whether an update to the software SW' is available (e.g. as a result of being downloaded overnight from master server 1 to all local servers 2). If an upgrade is available, the upgraded software is downloaded (step 30). The product information, barcodes and prices are thus downloaded from the local server (step 40) and the till operative is requested to enter his or her user ID and password (step 50). Keys K and text entry window T are displayed (Figure 4). The ID and password are checked (step 60) for validity against ID's and passwords previously entered from a keyboard by the supervisor.

It is now assumed that a customer is waiting at the till and the operative has the products the customer wishes to buy. He/she attempts to read the barcode (if present) on each product or its packaging (step 70). if this attempted reading is successful then the display shown by screen 7 is as shown in Figure 12; a "payments" button PB is highlighted (step 90, Figure 12) and on touching this button a window W4 appears with a list L of user-selectable payment options (e.g. B8 - cash, shown highlighted). The purchase and any further purchases by the customer are then processed in a standard manner in accordance with steps 100, 110 and 120 which will not therefore be described further.

7 If however no barcode is present on the product or its packaging, or it cannot be read by scanner 5, the process proceeds to step 130 and a "function" button 133 in the memo bar is highlighted (Figure 5). On touching this button, a window W1 appears on the display (Figure 6) displaying a number of user-selectable option buttons (step 140) including "product search" (button B4) and "system" (button B5).

If button B4 is touched, then a product search screen is displayed (step 170) which gives the till operative the options of selecting either a word search or a category search for an illustration matching the actual product presented for purchase by the customer. If a word search is selected, a screen similar to that of Figure 4 is displayed (step 210) and the user touches the appropriate displayed letter keys to enter a word in the text window e.g. "CRISPT. Illustrations P of the different packets of crisps are displayed (step 220 - Figure 8) and the operative selects the most likely match from these illustrations by touching it on screen, resulting in a somewhat larger display of that product's illustration and its numerical product code, price and description (step 230 - Figure g).

Assuming this is the correct match, the operative touches the picture P to select that product and its associated price for inclusion in the transaction and the process proceeds to the payments steps beginning with step 90 (Figure 12). The absent or illegible barcode is flagged by the till unit for subsequent inclusion in a log file LF (Figure 1).

Returning to stage 170, if the operative chooses to search by category, a list of product categories is displayed (step 180 - Figure 7) one of which ("B-DIT) is 8 shown highlighted in Figure 7 as a result of being touched by the user. This would then lead to a further screen showing selectable sub- categories within DIY and thence to a screen similar to that shown in Figure 8 (step 190) but showing illustrations of DIY products within that subcategory. On selecting the required illustration P a more detailed picture with numerical code, price and product description and information is shown (step 200 - Figure 9) and the process then goes to step 90 to process the purchase.

Returning to stage 140 (Figure 6) if the user selects the system button B5 then a window W2 appears to display further options (step 150, Figure 10) including EXIT (step 160, button B7) and RESET TILL (step 240, Figure 11, button 136) which in turn allows the option of an X report or a Z report. Printouts of simple examples of these reports are shown in Figures 13 and 14 respectively.

They both include sales and payments analyses which are reported to the master server 1 via the local server 2 and differ only in that a Z report clears the local memory of the till unit 3 whereas the X report does not, The log files LF also periodically uploaded to the master server alert the system controllers to the need to print or re-print barcodes on products which were not successfully scanned in step 70.

The data transmitted from master server 1 is preferably compressed - e.g. the product illustrations can be compressed using CMP compression.

9 The local servers LS are arranged to return the log fides (including sales data) to master server 1 in real time. If a local server goes down, its associated till units switch to a "local mode" in which they continue to operate as described with reference to Figure 2.

Assuming this is the correct match, the operative touches the picture P to select that product and its associated price for inclusion in the transaction and the process proceeds to the payments steps beginning with step 90 (Figure 12). The absent or illegible barcode is flagged by the till unit for subsequent inclusion in a log file LF (Figure 1).

Returning to stage 170, if the operative chooses to search by category, a list of product categories is displayed (step 180 - Figure 7) one of which ("B-Dly") is shown highlighted in Figure 7 as a result of being touched by the user. This would then lead to a further screen showing selectable sub-categories within DIY and thence to a screen similar to that shown in Figure 8 (step 190) but shown in illustrations of DIY products within that subcategory. On selecting the required illustration P a more detailed picture with numerical code, price and product description and information is shown (step 200 - Figure 9) and the process then goes to step 90 to process the purchase.

Returning to stage 140 (Figure 6) if the user selects the system button B5 then a window W2 appears to display further options (step 150, Figure 10) including EXIT (step 160, button B7) and RESET TILL (step 240, Figure 11, button B6) which in turn allows the option of an X report or a Z report. Printouts of simple examples of these reports are shown in Figures 13 and 14 respectively. These features and the Iocal mode" feature are considered to be independent inventions in their own right.

11

Claims (15)

  1. An arrangement for recording transactions involving goods, the arrangement comprising an electronic transaction terminal arranged to access a database of product data associated with product illustrations, the transaction terminal having display means arranged to display at least the product illustrations to a user for comparison with said goods, the transaction terminal having user-operable means for accessing the product data of a product displayed by the display means and having transaction processing means arranged to process the transaction by reference to the accessed product data.
  2. 2. An arrangement according to Claim 1, wherein said product data comprises product codes identifying particular products.
  3. 3. An arrangement according to claim 2, wherein said product codes are barcodes.
  4. 4. An arrangement according to Claim 2 or Claim 3, wherein said transaction terminal is provided with scanning means arranged to read the product codes labelling said goods or their packaging and is arranged to search said database, optionally under the guidance of the user, for a matching illustration in the event of a failure of an attempted reading of a product code.
    12
  5. 5. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein said database is divided into product categories which are individually selectable and searchable by the user.
  6. 6. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, wherein said display is a touch-sensitive display and the product data of an illustrated product is accessible by touching the illustration of the product.
  7. 7. An arrangement according to any preceding claim, further comprising a local server and communications links between the local server and a plurality of such transaction terminals, the local server being arranged to store product data and to download the product data to the transaction terminals.
  8. 8. An arrangement according to Claim 7, further comprising a remote master server arranged to download updated pricing information to said local server and thence optionally to said transaction terminals.
  9. 9. An arrangement according to Claim 7 or Claim 8, wherein said transaction terminals are arranged to upload transaction data to said local server.
  10. 10. An arrangement according to Claim 8 and Claim 9, wherein said local server is arranged to upload transaction data to said master server.
  11. 11. A method of processing transactions involving goods, wherein the goods are scanned for product data on the goods themselves or their packaging, and 13 in response to a failure to read such product data a database of product illustrations is searched and product data associated with respective product illustrations is located by visually comparing the illustration as electronically displayed with the actual product.
  12. 12. A method as claimed in Claim 11, wherein the product data comprises a barcode.
  13. 13. A method according to Claim 11 or Claim 12, wherein a matching illustration is selected by a user via a touch-screen display displaying two or more product illustrations.
  14. 14. An electronic point of sale arrangement substantially as described hereinabove with reference to Figures 1 to 14 of the accompanying drawings.
  15. 15. A method of performing an electronic point of sale transaction substantially as described hereinabove with reference to Figures 1 to 14 of the accompanying drawings.
GB9912324A 1999-05-26 1999-05-26 Recording transactions involving goods eg EPOS Withdrawn GB2350458A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9912324A GB2350458A (en) 1999-05-26 1999-05-26 Recording transactions involving goods eg EPOS

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9912324A GB2350458A (en) 1999-05-26 1999-05-26 Recording transactions involving goods eg EPOS

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9912324D0 GB9912324D0 (en) 1999-07-28
GB2350458A true GB2350458A (en) 2000-11-29

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7162439B2 (en) * 2000-12-22 2007-01-09 General Electric Company Workstation configuration and selection method and apparatus

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2105075A (en) * 1981-05-30 1983-03-16 Geoffrey William Alexande Neel Display systems
EP0109189A1 (en) * 1982-10-14 1984-05-23 ByVideo, Inc. Video display system for marketing items
GB2177245A (en) * 1985-06-17 1987-01-14 Coats Viyella Plc Retail trading systems
GB2224380A (en) * 1988-10-29 1990-05-02 Coats Viyella Plc Interactive video system

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2105075A (en) * 1981-05-30 1983-03-16 Geoffrey William Alexande Neel Display systems
EP0109189A1 (en) * 1982-10-14 1984-05-23 ByVideo, Inc. Video display system for marketing items
GB2177245A (en) * 1985-06-17 1987-01-14 Coats Viyella Plc Retail trading systems
GB2224380A (en) * 1988-10-29 1990-05-02 Coats Viyella Plc Interactive video system

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7162439B2 (en) * 2000-12-22 2007-01-09 General Electric Company Workstation configuration and selection method and apparatus

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Publication number Publication date
GB9912324D0 (en) 1999-07-28

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