Meet Albert. Albert is the new point-of-sale transaction tablet from the Commonwealth Bank. Albert likes Pi. Pi is the software platform that powers Albert so that he can help merchants offer custom-built apps like loyalty programs, bill splitters and merchandise trackers to their customers. Confused yet?
We wouldn't blame you if you were. This thing is quirky.
CommBank is calling it an omnicommerce device, whatever that means. It's essentially a 7-inch tablet, based on Android and built by the Commonwealth Bank complete with an EMV card reader, NFC reader and a camera for merchants to help them do their business better.
Pi -- that's the operating system -- is an open platform, and anyone can contribute an app. New apps can be downloaded from the Commonwealth AppBank.
According to the demo video we've been given, Albert -- the tablet -- can live in a cafe and the owner can take it to a table to help a group of friends split a bill and then pay at the table using their traditional cards or their Kaching NFC devices.
Someone could walk into a clothes shop and have a coupon pushed to their device via Albert's NFC that would give them a special offer in the store.
Don't fancy having a bespoke payments and customer loyalty tablet in your business? That's cool, I wouldn't either. That's why the CBA has outed CommBank Leo.
CommBank Leo is a case for merchants that wraps around an iPod Touch, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S device to turn it into a merchant terminal. It pulls the apps from AppBank, because it too is powered by Pi.
There's no pricing just yet, we're still chasing it.
Would you be impressed by a Leo or an Albert in a restaurant or clothes shop?
Image: Commonwealth Bank