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EC Container 5

Illustration: Bigbox Retail

Bigbox Retail

The stored purpose computer design anticipates that machines will augment, not replace human labor.

They have been designed to understand and serve the needs and expectations of people with great precision and subtlety. They have been designed to store analogs of human goals and experience. They have also been designed with strict controls on Purpose, goal pursuit and learning.

In short, stored purpose systems were designed to become good companions to workers.


Warren Jones, Lana Rubalsky (2010) "Illustration: Bigbox Retail", wJones Research, January 18, 2010

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In a Bigbox Retail establishment, an official store Greeter leads interactions with all guests to the location.

As each customer arrives in the store, they approach a registration kiosk and touch their personal mobile communicator and form of payment to a grey check-in display. This enables them to use their mobile device as a “shopping disk” for the length of stay. If they don’t have a communicator, they can pick-up an in-store disk that looks like a small calculator.

As they select goods to purchase, they simply touch the product to their shopping disk and confirm selection. Purchases are gathered and bagged in the warehouse beneath the store. When they’ve finished shopping they simply approach the Pick-up area. The shopping disk wirelessly notifies the warehouse of a pending pick-up when the shopper leaves the store for the parking lot and confirms the car’s approach to Pick-up.

The Greeter in this scenario is the second ranking manager in the store. She is aware of everyone who comes into the store and every truck that pulls up to the loading dock. The Greeter is responsible not only for greeting Customers at the store entrance, but for tracking every approaching supply, repair or waste removal vehicle in the rear.

This omniscience is possible because the Greeter, like each of the hundred employees of the store, is assisted by an Intelligent Agent, available at the touch of her personal mobile communicator. The Greeter, leads teams at Entry, Dock and Pick-up. She and her agent assistant are masters at helping customers and partners move toward their objectives and out of the store, as efficiently as possible.

The Greeter supports and works alongside the Floor Leader. He and his a.assistant coordinate a team of functional experts that ensure flawless Customer service in each store Department (media, fabrics, sports, gardening, baby care, women’s clothing, etc.). Each Department is managed by at least two agent assisted Experts. Each are masters at helping Customers find, understand and purchase exactly what they need, while enjoying the experience. They know that customers could complete their electronic purchases at home, so if they are in the store, their purpose is either to talk with the Department manager or touch the product.

When a product is selected, a customer can select a size or have the store match their size based upon a saved MyShape™ profile. If the warehouse is out of stock, the customer will be notified when confirming the selection. Out of stock items will automatically be shipped to the home.

As baskets and checkout lines have been eliminated from the shopping experience, there is nothing to distract the Greeter, Floor Leader and their teams from their Purpose ... to serve Customers. There is no risk of shoplifting, as no goods are removed from the store.


The store is L4 or Level Four Efficient, meaning all internal systems are Gia compatible. The following term definitions will help with understanding the technology.

Stored purpose metacomputer

The store’s physical operations are coordinated by a nexus class agent based in a commercial metacomputer. Metacomputer instrument devices including a host pair, mobile personal communicators, sensors and controllers, ensure efficient physical product movement, balanced lighting, sound and climate control. They also coordinate store security through control of cameras, product display locks and access control. In this scenario, the Greeter, Floor Leader, Warehouse Leader, Departmental Managers, and Dock, Warehouse, Pick-up and Entry Teams all carry communicators.

The metacomputer also connects most demonstration products. This enables a department manager in sewing to direct a Singer machine to demonstrate a stitch or a manager in Audio-Video to demonstrate an Ultra HD movie.

Semantic Communications

Also referred to as Fat Line communications, links managers with both explicit and inferred information. For example, the Greeter does not need to explicitly learn from a Customer that she experienced a problem with a recent purchase before she can start serving the Customer. When the Customer enters the store, Bigbox bag in hand, the Greeter’s assistant agent prompts information about the Customer, displaying her most recent fabric purchase on the Greeter’s headset display and suggesting Esther, the floor manager in Fabrics, be notified of the Customer’s arrival. The Greeter approves the notification via silent messaging as the Customer approaches. Shortly after the Customer begins to explain her issue with the purchase, Esther arrives to take over from the Greeter, fully prepared to address the Customer’s issue.

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EC Container 6