I’ve come up with a new idea for a project
Main idea – A touch screen menu and ordering system for customers tied together with a touch screen order queue processing system for employees. Integration with user data (ID Card?), and payment system (credit card/gift card) is a goal.
Target users – Small businesses (restaurants), like coffee and sandwich shops.
Initial stack plan – C#, WPF, .NET 4.0, SQL Server, Windows 7 Tablets (Asus Slate?)
Foreseeable roadblocks – Costs of testing machines/equipment. I’d have to purchase at least one Windows 7 tablet, which will most likely run me $400-$1000 each. Additionally, for the ID card idea, and credit card integration, I’d need to purchase ID card readers/writers, and some blank cards. Initially, this has been priced as $500-$800. Another possible roadblock is integrating with existing credit card payment system. I have no idea how credit cards are processed, so I’ll need to do research here. Integrating this may be different for each customer, unless I can develop and out-of-box solution.
Possible project names - Order Pool, Ordering Pool, Coffee Pot, OrderEasy, YouOrder (yes, I suck at naming things)
Target start – Begin initial research, planning during spring quarter (April – June). Begin development by June. Hope to have a touch screen machine for testing by end of July.
Similar systems – Sheetz has a system for ordering, which creates a queue (backend?), but apparently is not integrated with payment system. I have not used this system.
What it doesn’t do - replace the cashier. The customers still have the option of ordering and paying with the cashier. Additionally, they would have the option of ordering with the touch screen system, and heading over to the counter to pay with cash. The system would just be a novel way of interacting with the menu and placing orders for customers, which could help shorten lines, expedite the ordering process, and entertain customers.
Another thing to note is is that it is a future goal (not the first version) to add online order support, to allow order placement from phones/personal computers.
I’m very open to feedback, ideas, criticism at this point. Also welcome are those interested in collaborating.