Dr. J. went to the New Atlantis Apple Store on Saturday with the lil med student to get an additional USB cable (an ancient one was fraying at the iPhone/iPod plug in end) and a couple of car chargers for his and Mrs. Dr. J.’s new iPhone 4S’s.
Now the New Atlantis Apple Store is perpetually mobbed, especially after the release of a new iPhone or iPad, so when one goes there, they are waiting a little while to be even able to flag down an unoccupied free-range fair-trade tattooed and pierced emo-barista employee to check them out with a tricked-out iDevice.
For those not in the know, the Apple Store eschews the cash register, check out line model.
So Dr. J. found what he needed and after about 10 minutes of watching the lil med student play on one of the kids iMacs, a ‘blue shirt’ was available to check him out. She looked at Dr. J. and asked, “Is that a 4S?” to which Dr. J. replied in the affirmative.
She asked him if he had the Apple Store app downloaded, because she would be happy to teach him to check himself out. Since Dr. J. is a believer of ‘Give me a fish and I eat for a day…” he said sure.
So, you can open the App and using GPS it can detect that you are in an Apple Store. It then gives you the option to scan an item’s UPC code with your iPhone Camera and buy it. It uses your credit card information that is on file from either previous purchases, or your iTunes acct, and emails.
This is fantastic because it can make your trip to the Apple Store a surgical strike rather than a game of ‘where is Waldo’ with the employees. The only drawbacks are that certain items are not available for purchase via this mechanism (such as Apple TV, or anything hidden in the back), and (as best as Dr. J. could determine) you can’t scan a bunch of items to be placed into a shopping cart and then check out all at once. Dr. J. had to make 3 separate transactions for the 3 separate items that he bought. This is no big deal either, as it added 30 seconds to his transaction.
Knowing that this was going to become a Gormogon post, Dr. J. asked the young lady if she feared that this added efficency would cost her her job. She replied that she had no worries, as it allows her to be more productive at work, answering questions and advising customers who needed help with technical issues or purchase related questions rather than checking out the folks who knew what they wanted and wanted to get in and get out. This is someone who clearly gets the value of technology in improving employee productivity.
Now so that the Gormogons can be fair and balanced, let’s get President Obama’s opinion on the Apple Store App. Just replace the word ATM with Apple Store App in the following movie and you will catch is drift. Recall that Steve Jobs didn’t think that Obama understood economics either…