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Information Systems Journal

In: Business and Management

Submitted By spr134a
Words 2636
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Business 3700 Assignment
Information Systems Journal 2
November 20th 2013
2526 Words

Table of Contents page
Part 2A Use of Near Field Communication with POS Information Systems 3

Part 2B The World in 3-D 6
Sources Cited 11

Part 2A
Use of Near Field Communication with POS Information Systems

Near Field Communication is a new wireless technology that enables data transmission between two objects when they are within inches of each other.
Smartphones & tablets enabled with NFC can exchange data with other NFC devices, or read information from smart tags embedded in posters, stickers and other products. The most interesting application for businesses is how it can be used for transactions.
Many credit cards are NFC enabled with their EMV chips. Acording to EMVco “EMV chip-based payment cards, also known as smart cards, contain an embedded microprocessor, a type of small computer. The microprocessor chip contains the information needed to use the card for payment, and is protected by various security features. Chip cards are a more secure alternative to traditional magnetic stripe payment cards” (emvco.com, 2013). For fast transactions, the “tap” function of some POS (point of sale) systems is in fact a function of the NFC technology.
In the case of using an NFC enabled smartphone (eg. Android Galaxy 3s and google wallet) or payment card (eg. Visa) with a NCR SelfServ Checkout at Dominion the process for the transaction is outlined below:
Every card (even the "virtual" one used when paying with NFC enabled smartphone) has an account it is bound to. It could be a debit (bank) account, or it could be an anonymous account used with a prepaid card.
When a customer or pays with the card, it authenticates itself in some manner - it may require the POS (point of sale terminal) to ask the users bank for authentication. This is automatically requested over the NFC. The card forwards this information to the host processor, which routes the transaction request to the cardholder's bank’s database by use of the interbanks network, which is a WAN. There may be a verification step requiring the customer to enter their PIN (personal identification number) however most NFC cards (virtual or otherwise) have a pre-approved amount authorized that is usually under $50.
The banks database (which may use several secure servers) uses an automated document-driven decision support system to authorize the transaction and send the appropriate information to the merchant. Once the information authorizing the transaction is received by the POS terminal, the host processor requests an electronic fund transfer to take place from the customer's bank account to the host processor's account via the Interbanks Network, which is a WAN (wide area network) or via the internet (using a router, which is connected to a modem which can access the internet through a service provider such as Bell or Rogers). Once the funds are verified from the banks central database it is transferred to the host processor's bank account, the processor sends an approval code through the Interbanks Network to the POS approving the transaction and print a receipt and the customer receives the goods or services they just paid for.

On the merchant end of this transaction, several other things may take place:
First it is assumed that that the software used for the transaction is or is similar to Microsoft Windows XP POS integration or the AccuPOS software.

As illustrated above, the POS terminal with the software is often linked with an accounting computer that keeps a running inventory for the store through the use of supporting software such as “AccuLINK Adapter”. This software is also capable of recording data such as: location, date and time, what items/skus were purchased, how many skus were purchased, how much the item cost, total amount spent etc. about each transaction. Loblaws Inc. has introduced PC+ membership cards (which are similar to Optimum cards from their recent acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc.). If the customer uses this membership, additional data such as gender, and age is recorded for each of their transactions onto an account in the company database. It is sent from the accounting computer using communication tools over the Internet or a WAN (similar to the Interbanks Network) using the hardware and software outlined above to the database (secure severs or mainframe). This information is then used for analysis via a Data-driven DSS (Decision Support System). Later it will be stored in a Data Warehouse.

Part 2B
The World in 3-D

According to 3Dprinter.net, “We live in an age that is witness to what many are calling the Third Industrial Revolution. 3D printing, more professionally called additive manufacturing, moves us away from the Henry Ford era mass production line, and will bring us to a new reality of customizable, one-off production.” Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. This differs from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes). One major benefit of additive manufacturing is that it is very efficient; since it creates something by adding material to the object there is little to no waste.
According to an article written by Jon Hembrey for CBC news, here’s how it works: “There are several types of 3D printers. They may use different materials, but all involve the same basic approach for "printing" an object: spraying or otherwise transferring a substance in multiple layers onto a building surface, beginning with the bottom layer.
Before the printing can occur, a person must first create a 3D image of the item they want printed using a computer-assisted design (CAD) software program. That object is then sliced into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers, which are placed one on top of the other until the completed object emerges” (Hembrey, 2013).

Commercial 3D printers
Businesses have been using this process for decades. Manufacturers use the printers in the design process to create prototypes for traditional manufacturing. But until the recently, the equipment has been expensive and slow.
“Now, fast 3D printers can be had for tens of thousands of dollars, and end up saving the companies many times that amount in the prototyping process. For example, Nike uses 3D printers to create multi-colored prototypes of shoes. They used to spend thousands of dollars on a prototype and wait weeks for it. Now, the cost is only in the hundreds of dollars, and changes can be made instantly on the computer and the prototype reprinted on the same day.” (3Dprinter.net)
Some companies are using 3D printers for short run or custom manufacturing. The printed objects are not prototypes, but the actual end user product. As the speeds of 3D printing go up and the prices come down, consumers can expect more availability of personally customized products.
According to Garry Marshal from techradar “It's already helping to revolutionize manufacturing by slashing research and development costs, and in the longer term it might mean that instead of ordering online and waiting for couriers to deliver, we'll just print products at home - maybe even food” (Marshal, 2013).

As the prices for this technology fall, more business are both adopting it and are basing their business on it for consumer use. For instance, Reality Print is a 3D Print Studio here in St. John’s, N focusing on the applications of 3D fabrication technologies. In the short-run, there is hope that the technology could return a level of small-scale, custom manufacturing back to North America. “Many goods that have relied on the scale efficiencies of large, centralized plants will be produced locally. Even if the per-unit production cost is higher, it will be more than offset by the elimination of shipping and of buffer inventories” (Garvin, 2013).

Personal 3D Printers
There are personal and DIY hobbyist models that are getting cheap, with prices typically in the range of $300 – $2,000.
According to 3Dprinters.net, the RepRap open is source project that really ignited this hobbyist market in the same way the Apple I microcomputer ignited the hobbyist desktop computer market in the late 1970s. “For about a thousand dollars, people have been able to buy the RepRap kit and put together their own personal 3D printer, complete with any customizations they were capable of making. And what’s more, these printers print most of the parts for more printers. RepRap is short for replicating rapid prototyper, so complete self-replication, including electronic circuit boards, is the goal.” (3Dprinters.net, 2013)
The interest low-cost 3D printers, both DIY and fully-assembled, have forced the prices to keep coming down, which in turn leads to more availability. With more people tinkering away with this technology and often posting their CAD (or similar) files on open sourced websites also known as model repositories such as Thingiverse, 3D Parts Database, and 3D Warehouse, the likelihood of tech breakthroughs greatly increases.
According to 3Dprinter.net, “While complex and expensive CAD software like AutoCAD and Solidworks have a steep learning curve, there are a number of other programs, many free, that are very easy to learn. The free version of Google SketchUp, for example, is very popular for its ease of use; and the free Blender program is popular for its advanced features” (3Dprinter.net, 2013).
The possibilities for this emerging technology seem limitless. Some print things like jewelry, some print replacement parts for appliances such as their dishwasher, some create art, and some make toys. 3D printers are now capable of using many types of metal, plastic, glass, and other materials available (even gold and silver), just about anything can be printed, even food.
Limitations
There are some drawbacks however; one cannot print anything without the CAD or data file containing a plethora of data about the object’s dimensions. Currently there is another limitation; “the printers [can] create an object out of only one material when most consumer goods are made of many” (Hembrey, 2013). Also, as Nick Allan from Gizmodo points out, “3D printed parts are not as strong as traditionally-manufactured parts. Their layer-by-layer technique of manufacturing is both their biggest strength and their greatest weakness. In something like injection molding, you have a very even strength across the part, as the material is of a relatively consistent material structure. In 3D printing, you are building it in layers — this means that it has laminate weaknesses as the layers don’t bond as well in the Z axis as they do in the X and Y plane. This is comparable to a Lego wall — you place all the bricks on top of each other, and press down: feels strong, but push the wall from the side and it breaks really easily.” (Allan, 2013)
However, “researchers are looking at ways to solve that by creating devices that print a number of different materials. For instance, a machine could combine plastic and conductive material to create electronics, including cellphones” (Hembrey, 2013). This combined with more interest from the public will ultimately drive the improvement of the technology. For instance, Cody R. Wilson is a 25-year-old University of Texas law student working to build semiautomatic weapons using 3D printers. He created a company called Defence Distributed which is “a pending 501(c)(3) status nonprofit corporation in the state of Texas, organized and operated exclusively for charitable and literary purposes. 

The specific purposes for which this corporation is organized are: To defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, through facilitating global access to, and the collaborative production of, information and knowledge related to the 3D printing of arms; and to publish and distribute, at no cost to the public, such information and knowledge in promotion of the public interest” (defdist.org, 2013). Though controversial, their organization is making 3D printed materials much stronger.
Perhaps the greatest breakthrough for society is use of 3D printers in the medical field. Specifically 3D printed organs. According to Jeremy Hsu “Dying patients could someday receive a 3D-printed organ made from their own cells rather than wait on long lists for the short supply of organ transplants. Such a futuristic dream remains far from reality, but university labs and private companies have already taken the first careful steps by using 3D-printing technology to build tiny chunks of organs. Regenerative medicine has already implanted lab-grown skin, tracheas and bladders into patients — body parts grown slowly through a combination of artificial scaffolds and living human cells. By comparison, 3D-printing technology offers both greater speed and computer-guided precision in printing living cells layer by layer to make replacement skin, body parts and perhaps eventually organs such as hearts, livers and kidneys.” (Hsu, 2013). This technology is still in its infancy, however has major implications for humanity; we would never have to age because in theory, we could print new parts for ourselves thus extending the longevity of an individuals life.
Society
In summary, as applications of the technology expand and prices drop, the first implication is that the manufacture of goods will be at or close to their point of purchase or consumption; There might even mean household-level production of some things. Another implication is that goods will be significantly more customized, because altering them will only require tweaking the instructions in the software, instead of retooling. These implications will “cause businesses all along the supply, manufacturing, and retailing chains to rethink their strategies and operations. And a second-order implication will have even greater impact. As 3-D printing takes hold, the factors that have made China the workshop of the world will lose much of their force.” (Garvin, 2013) Garvin also postulated that “The great transfer of wealth and jobs to the East over the past two decades may have seemed a decisive tipping point. But this new technology will change again how the world leans” (Garvin, 2013). On a consumer level, it allows the freedom from major manufacturers to produce what they need at home, and allows enthusiast to explore their creativity and push the boundaries of this new tech. The future potential for 3D printing seems limitless, and it may one day save or take our lives.

Sources Cited About | Defense Distributed. (n.d.). About | Defense Distributed. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://defdist.org/about-us/ 
 Allan, N. (n.d.). Why 3D Printing Is Overhyped (I Should Know, I Do It For a Living). Gizmodo. Retrieved November 17, 2013, from http://gizmodo.com/why-3d-printing-is-overhyped-i-should-know-i-do-it-fo-508176750 
 Garvin, D. A. (n.d.). March 2013. 3-D Printing Will Change the World. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://hbr.org/2013/03/3-d-printing-will-change-the-world/ 
 Hembrey, J. (n.d.). How exactly does 3D printing work? - Technology & Science - CBC News. CBCnews. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/how-exactly-does-3d-printing-work-1.1371800 
 Hsu, J. (n.d.). 3D Printing Aims to Deliver Organs on Demand. LiveScience.com. Retrieved November 19, 2013, from http://www.livescience.com/39885-3d-printing-to-deliver-organs.html Marshal, G. (n.d.). 10 technologies that really could change the world. TechRadar. Retrieved November 16, 2013, from http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/10-technologies-that-really-could-change-the-world-1158715 
 What is 3D Printing? An Overview.. (n.d.). 3D Printer. Retrieved November 17, 2013, from http://www.3dprinter.net/reference/what-is-3d-printing…...

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