Convenience Store News

NOV 2014

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22 Store of the Future | WWW.CSNEWS.COM The Forecourt of the Future Exciting technologies will lead the way forward By Brian Berk Renderings created by Paragon Solutions C ell phone charging benches and 3-D holograms at the pump could very well be the future of the convenience store forecourt. To some, it may sound far-fetched that many gas stations will have both these technolo- gies fully in place in just a few years from now. But Michael Lawshe, president of Fort Worth, Texas- based design firm Paragon Solutions Inc., stressed that these technologies are already available today, as opposed to something appearing only in an episode of "The Jetsons." In fact, cell phone charging benches — also referred to as smart seats or Soofas — that allow consumers to charge their cell phones via USB ports at park benches, are already gaining traction in major cities such as Boston, with President Barack Obama testing one out in July. Lawshe believes it is a natural transition for conve- nience store operators to install these benches at the forecourt in the near future. "Let's say you pull up into the forecourt of the future and you fuel up your vehicle. Simultaneously, it can charge up your iPad and your iPhone," he said. As for 3-D holographic images, Apple Inc. and Tensator Inc. are among the manufacturers that already offer this technology. "The Siri of the future will not just be a voice; it will be a holographic image of a man or woman depending on your personal tastes," noted Lawshe. "It will greet you by name AT-PUMP MERCHANDISE ORDERING MOBILE WALLET PAYMENT DIVERSE FUELING OPTIONS INCLUDING HYDROGEN AND FLEX FUELS

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