Cool IT stuff during my travels... have you seen any lately?


Staff member
During my travels over the last two weeks, and particularly yesterday and today, every now and then I saw something cool. Have you experienced something similar, where a new IT development wowed you?

1. London Drugs is a federal chain store in Canada selling everything, legal drugs, electronics, toiletries, household goods, baggage etc. I saw people checking their own groceries out and paying for the groceries themselves. I don't think they are doing it at all of their stores. Just selected ones at their main Branch in West Georgia Street. I didn't have enough time to ask them how they did it, but I imagine it must have something to do with bar codes, and once they leave the store, there won't be an alarm. Still, quite interesting.

2. At the St Paul Minneapolis airport quite a number of bars have ipad like upright touch screens, where people who visit the bars, put their order in online. At the same time, once they've put in an order, they get access to free internet as well as games and stuff on the system. Sort of a social network that is right through the airport. It's the first I've seen. Actually a very neat airport. Including, it is a completely smoke-free airport. Think that must have been the first one I've seen so far.

On the subject of airports, US airports in general are far ahead of Airports in Europe and Canada. Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris was an absolute DISASTER. Chaos. I had to transfer through there this morning, and was muttering under my breath all the way from the point where there was no bridge to the main building, had to disembark Air France miles away from the terminal and then use a bus that could do with a much smoother braking system. It's a totally logic-free zone! On top of that the plane had to taxi miles as well.

3. Delta Airways charges its customers for on board snacks. No cash is exchanged. The cabin attendant bills the online account that booked the ticket with a handheld technical device.

4. Bottled water is on its way out in Vancouver. I've seen the first signs of articles posted every where how bad it is for health, and what a waste of money it is as well. Wherever I was I saw fancy new bottles. Sort of makes sense to me too.

5. Now this was a cool thing I saw as well at my favourite coffee shop in Vancouver, The Blenz. One can buy coffee with bitcoins!

6. The Vancouver Public Library has gone "mobile". Instead of having help desks on each floor with library staff helping people, there are ipad type stations where people can type in their requests or chat, and instead of the attendants sitting behind counters, they are now moving around working through the online requests and finding their way to the people who need help instead of the other way round. The computers I used there were the best I've seen yet. Great service.