In 2001, Sunit Saxena made a midnight run to the grocery store for wonton wrappers. When he couldn't find any, he went looking for a clerk. The aisles were empty. He discovered the workers holed up in a back room tearing price tags off merchandise to reprice it for the next day, reports CNNMoney.com.
I asked how many they had to do. They said, 'Don't ask,'" he recalls. "I said, 'This is nuts. Technology can automate this stuff.'"
In 2002, Saxena quit his job and launched a new endeavor: Altierre. The San Jose-based company makes computerized shelf labels that let grocers change prices over a wireless network, saving time and paper.
Of the three largest U.S. grocery chains -- Kroger, Safeway and Wal-Mart-- two are now testing the labels.
Photo by Altierre.