Bluebird Soft's point-of-sale personal digital assistant (POS PDA), Pidion, is a success in South Korea--the patented mobile device has a 90 percent share of the market for department store POS systems.
Sales assistants in the country's top three department store chains--Hyundai, Lotte and Sinseye--have been using Pidion to help customers process payments, check the latest promotions on products and see if particular items are still in stock.
According to Bluebird Soft, Hyundai Department Store Group's 13 outlets were the first to use the mobile POS system. Seeing that the biggest department store brand in South Korea was able to cut costs and offer better service to its customers, most of the other department stores also jumped on the bandwagon.
Customers need no longer wait in line to pay at the cashier counters--payment by cash (local and foreign currency), credit or debit cards as well as vouchers are possible via Pidion. The transactions are completed in 10 seconds.
The department store executives and managers stand to gain too. They can do real-time analysis of store performance. According to Bluebird Soft, Hyundai has cut its POS hardware costs by 40 percent. In addition, the chain has reduced administrative costs by 30 percent through improved tracking of sales and a more efficient deployment of store staff.
Bluebird Soft recently released a new version of Pidion. The BIP-1300 model can be used in Code Division Multiple Access, Wireless Local Area Network and Global System for Mobile Communications networks. Built into each unit are a magnetic stripe reader, integrated circuit card reader, thermal printer, barcode scanner, a 2 mega-pixel camera, as well as Bluetooth capabilities. The device also supports peripherals such as sign pads and those for fingerprint verification.
The patent for the POS PDA is applicable in South Korea only, and the company is to looking to extend it to other countries.
Bluebird Soft wants to add a Radio Frequency Identification reader into its PDAs in future, and is working with the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, based in South Korea, to do so.
The company has distributors in Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan and Thailand. It started at a software developer in 1995 and began research and development work on the enterprise PDA market three years later.