The project aims to develop a new concept in electronic shopping. It will prototype a multimedia based service delivered through interactive sales terminals of ISTs. The project is driven by consumer and retail needs and will enable retailers and financial service providers to sell their products and services. The Project aims at delivering a prototype interactive sales terminal (IST) which retailers will develop applications for, to test a new delivery channel opportunity.
The specific objectives are to prove the viability of the new concept and to make significant technical and commercial advances which will results in the rapid acceptance and implementation of the project deliverables and results. These objectives will be achieved through carefully co-ordinated experimentation of the IST, development of multimedia sales applications which include electronic catalogues, the ability to browse, complete needs analysis, and the development of a generic payment module which will allow retailers to obtain payment for goods by plastic cards and by loan.
The commercial and technical advances resulting from the project are:
- Development of a multimedia based alternative to the traditional methods of selling will enable retailers to take advantage of new retail formats, making their products and services available to consumers in a wide range of formats both in store and public domain.
- Building on open standards and the advances made by earlier ESPRIT projects will result in the rapid development of a prototype for an object oriented platform for use at retail point of sale.
- The project provides advantages for consumers and retailers to use IST's instead of the traditional retail systems which are mainly paper based. The Project will develop a standard for multimedia applications, a business case for exploitation for interactive sales terminals and a payment module which will deliver loans and plastic card transactions. The partners will exploit their results by the realisation of project benefits for their own companies and by the development of a standards for multimedia Point Of Sale and Point Of Information applications.
The project has two phases:.
- In the first phase, a basic terminal or IST will be developed where the multimedia electronic catalogue is stored locally on a optical or hard disc. The terminal is connected to a central database from which volatile information such as price and availability is obtained.
- In the second phase, the integrated electronic retail system - the OASIS Market - will be developed. It will be based on access to sufficiently fast networks, where the product database including the multimedia electronic catalogue can be held centrally. This allow the retailer connected to the systems to sell products through the resulting infrastructure benefiting significantly from the lower data storage requirements which will help drive down cost of the terminal.
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