In 1997 Vern was a consultant to IVI, a company in Boulder that manufactured bank check readers.IVI sold 100,000 existing check readers a year. All Safeways and other food suppliers, most gas stations, most banks, all of the Costcos had these readers. But the reader had huge problems: very unrealiable, misread checks, fell apart, and lost the RJ45 network connection often when the RJ45 cable came unplugged. this collapsed all sales in the building until the network was rebooted. The reader fell apart if lightly dropped on the checkout counter. An overall terrible product, but better than anything else.
Vern was first contacted as a consultant to solve the RJ45 cable from coming out, and which stopped all sales in the building until the network was rebooted. It was terrible. For only $1,500 and 1 week, Vern designed a simple stainless steel bracket that strongly captivated the RJ45 cable. The president was astonished that Vern's new SS bracket could be installed with a snap click, without tools. Then it was impossible to unplug. In fact, the copper wires would come out of the RJ45 plastic jack before the jack came unplugged. Networks never went down again, millions of customers were greatly satisfied to check out without a 5 minute delay.
With this fast great success, saving the company and customers millions of dollars (oh, the SS bracket only cost $.27 in quantities of 10,000, and $.18 in quantities of 100,000), the president gave Vern a bigger consulting design project of fixing the check reader and all of its problems.
After a short study, Vern told them the existing check reader could not be fixed. The design itself was severely flawed, despite 15 engineers working to fix the issue for 10 years. Their check readers were so inaccurate it often took 10 times to read a check. Many times it never read the check, so the amount, bank numbers had to be typed in by hand.
IVI spent $75K on original plastic injection tooling, probably $3 million on design and development.
Costco is still using Vern's check readers; always a pleasure to see Vern's check readers being used. The clerks say they work extremely well, and are realiable. Vern's check reader is shown on Amazon, Ebay, and other websites, nice.