when i got into the hideously long express line at Whole Foods in Union Square yesterday, i heard a robotic woman's voice coming from above, rattling off numbers. a screen hung overhead, and the voice called out the random numbers "19...12...10...15" while simultaneously, these same numbers dropped down on the screen. i was taken aback by this new system and i had to observe for a few minutes while in line to figure this out-- where did that guy go telling everyone which register to go to???
ok, so here is how this works: the lines are divided up, as usual, into express lanes and regular lanes, which both have their individual screens. so let's say that you are in the 3rd lane in-- then according to this picture above, your lane "color" is blue and you would go to register #19 when you reach the front of the line. get it?
this new system certainly beats the guys standing at the front of the line, yelling at you to go to register #19. this is the most "cutting-edge", technologically advanced feature introduced to the NYC mass public since they installed train time clocks on the L Train platforms 2 months back (what about the rest of the train lines, MTA???). for such a "cosmopolitan" city, NY is SO technologically behind!
but this at Whole Foods gives me hope! from what i could see, this new system is well designed (love the entire look of the interface) and seemed to help control the craziness of the lines at Whole Foods. can't wait to see one of these at Trader Joe's... *k*
footnote: seems like a Whole Foods is in the works for Brooklyn. 3rd and 3rd, so basically Park Slope. awesome.