Technology: Bellying Up to The Bar Code

Bellying Up to The Bar Code

It may prove to be a lifesaver for agoraphobiacs and those simply daunted by the quest for the perfect ripe tomato. ScanFone, a high-tech home-shopping and bill-paying system, is designed primarily for ordinary grocery shoppers too busy to get to the store. Introduced last week in San Francisco by Virginia- based US Order, ScanFone allows Bay Area customers to pay bills and buy their groceries using a special Touch-Tone phone, a bar-code scanner and a 6,000-item catalog from Safeway. Unlike some predecessors, including a discontinued supermarket shopping system introduced by the home-computer information network Prodigy, ScanFone is not linked to personal...