(photo source: itmedia.co.jp)
you can trust Japanese to come with ingenious ideas. here’s another one to add to the record. if you are looking to expand your iPhone functionality for business use, this could be one of them: using your iPhone to accept credit card payment and as a mobile Point-Of-Sale (POS) machine. basically, the iPhone will be mounted on an integrated printer/barcode reader/magnetic card reader to achieve the card payment acceptance and POS capabilities. this idea will definitely see applications where mobility is required, such as mobile stores, exhibition booths et cetera, where installation of POS and credit card machine is not convenient.
there are already devices which supports mobile POS and credit card payment which works over telecommunication networks, but what sets this apart is it’s ability to read the barcode off the products (which is linked to the products database) to facilitate the POS transaction. that means, scanning the products, summing them up and pay via the POS or credit card payment, right there and then. immediately after POS, latest stock status will be refreshed in the database thus keeping the availability of stock in real time. sounds quite an effort, especially on the software aspects.