The Technology

Explore ShelfX Technology

ShelfX is the patent-pending mobile self-checkout and inventory management system that enables almost any space to be turned into a cloud connected retail outlet. ShelfX moves the point of sale to the shelf where the products are located. This achievement requires a number of important innovations in shelf technology, wireless connectivity, and cloud based point-of-sale (POS) software.

The Big Picture

Every shopper has an electronic ID device that is associated with their ShelfX account. With this device, shoppers are able to register their account online and easily add funds using a credit card. Shoppers are also able to pay with a credit card at a store-based kiosk. Customer credit card information is always securely encrypted and can be used to reload their account balance as needed.

After the account is created, the shopper simply waves their ID device near the ID reader on the shelf or fixture. The account is quickly verified and if sufficient funds exist in the account, the fixture door is unlocked. The shopper can now freely take what they desire from the shelf or fixture. As items are removed, the weight sensing shelves report weight changes to the system. This creates a virtual shopping basket for the shopper which lists the products taken and their cost. Once the customer closes the fixture door, the virtual shopping basket is checked out, and the total price of products is deducted from the shopper’s ShelfX account.

In real time, the system recognizes individual customer activity including which products they bought and from which shelves. The cloud-based ShelfX POS charges the shopper and pays the merchant for the products purchased. The merchant can also view live inventory from all their shelves from one intuitive online merchant portal, and can generate “pick lists” to restock low-inventory shelves.

Patent-Pending ShelfX Technology

The technology that enables this revolutionary system is deceptively simple. A fixture consists of three components– a Reader/Display Unit (RDU), one or more Shelf Connector Units (SCU), and the Smart Shelves. A merchant can configure multiple locations, with multiple fixtures, and a kiosk at each location. Tying all this together is the proprietary ShelfX cloud-based POS software.

  1. The Smart Shelf
    ShelfX Smart Shelf It’s all about the shelf. The ShelfX shelf is equipped with highly accurate weight sensors. Because the system can read changes in weight on each shelf, it knows when items are removed or returned to the shelf. Also, since the system knows what is stocked on each shelf, it can charge the customer for what they take. 
  2. The Shelf Connector Unit (SCU)
    Each smart shelf connects to a port on the 16 port SCU. As products are taken from a shelf, the SCU sends these changes to the RDU which forwards the information on to the ShelfX cloud-based application. 
  3. The Reader Display Unit (RDU)
    The RDU has a very flexible RFID reader. When an RFID or NFC device is placed near the reader, the RFID/NFC device code is sent to the ShelfX application via a Wi-Fi network. The application looks up the shopper associated with the RFID/NFC device and verifies that the account is valid. The application also makes sure that there are sufficient funds on the account to access the fixture. When the shopper accesses the fixture, the SCU sends reports to the ShelfX application as items are taken or returned to the shelves. The application builds a virtual shopping basket for the shopper. When the fixture door is closed, the ShelfX application records the shopping transaction for the shopper. The application deducts the price of the basket from the shopper’s account balance and records a sale transaction for the merchant that creates a payment from ShelfX to the merchant. 
  4. The ShelfX Application (secure.xcard.me)
    The revolutionary ShelfX cloud based Point-of-Sale software is pivotal to processing and communicating information. Owners retain control over the ShelfX Software through a simple user interface. Whether pricing updates need to be done or access rights modified, everything is easily managed through the ShelfX Software.

    The ShelfX Software also generates reports and alerts operators to floor information such as displaying every Xcard holder`s location or indicating low inventory levels. The ShelfX Software will use such information to offer incentives or discounts on nearby products or even alert management when hot items are in need of restocking. 

  5. The ShelfX Kiosk
    ipadkiosk-silverThe kiosk consists of an iPad, a payment card reader, and an RDU without the display. The shopper can use the kiosk to open a ShelfX account and associate the account with an Xcard. After obtaining a free Xcard, the shopper approaches the kiosk and waves the Xcard in front of the reader. The shopper is then prompted to enter personal information for the account and swipe a payment card to put an initial balance on their account. The shopper is given the option of setting up auto-load at that time as well. The shopper interacts with the ShelfX cloud based application with the iPad’s web browser. 
  6. The ShelfX Mobile App
    ShelfX AppFurther enhancing the ShelfX mobile self-checkout experience is a smartphone or tablet app. With the ShelfX App on a mobile phone, there is no longer a need for an XCard. This ShelfX App allows the shopper to top-up and manage their ShelfX account, see a list of all their items, monitor a running total of their items, get nutritional information, and much more.