Conductiv is setting out to quickly change the face of retail businesses. Their pedigree of innovation in the CRM, Mobility and Supply Chain Optimization markets over the last few decades give them a leg up. With expertise from Unbounded Solutions, they are now turning their guns on the retail industry to deliver a product that is built from the ground up to be a low cost, easy to deploy, out of the box solution that takes every advantage of today’s technological advances in cloud and mobile computing.
Conductiv has a number of mobile solutions from small businesses and retail stores; all the way to large backend suppliers. This challenge offers plenty of opportunity for innovation and a need for many different systems to be created or refined.
The focus of this case study will be on their retail POS mobile app for tablets and smartphones. Not only did they need an easy to use interface for retail users, but the mobile app needed to support a growing number of printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and credit card swipers to allow for a full service store solution. The iOS and Android apps must also evolve with the needs of Conductiv’s retail partners in what devices needed to be supported, and the ease of use for running it.
The Conductiv iOS and Android apps needed a visual overhaul to provide an easy flow and intuitive interface for users to run the app and switch between different printers, cash drawers, and other devices. Given a growing number of printers, drawers, and other devices would be added as time passes, a universal (or as close to one as possible) solution was needed for connecting and reading/writing data between them. This solution came in the form of a base-level socket protocol for IP based devices, and use of the Apple EAAccessory framework for Bluetooth and other directly-connected devices in iOS. Similar socket and Bluetooth solutions were added into the android side.
The iOS UI was reworked into grouped table views much like in apple’s settings. Custom cells were added to display printer and cash drawer information, and a core data backend was setup to have persistent storage of different printer and cash drawers and their configurations to allow for easy switching.
Currently the Android and iOS apps still have room to grow, and with every passing week new requests are added, old ones are tweaked, and new devices are added as desired.