Smart Takes

Smart Cart follows you when grocery shopping

Posting in Food

What if your shopping cart followed you around a store and advised you on purchases?

Thanks to smart technology, the face of the routine weekly grocery shop may be rather different in the future.

What do you think about being followed by your trolley around a store as you grab your weekly essentials?

It's a far cry from worn-out plastic versions or those with wheels that persist in twisting and making a shopping trip more like a work-out.

This high-tech version features XBox360 Kinect sensors from Microsoft. According to Wired, the 'Smarter Cart' is equipped with a Windows 8 tablet attached to its handlebars and a UPC scanner, as well as containing voice capabilities to interact with the shopper.

U.S-based Whole Foods is currently conducting a trial run of the tech trolleys, and the project is the brainchild of Austin-based company Chaotic Moon.

Through the XBox 360 Kinect technology, this prototype can track your movements and follow you through a supermarket, and also can scan your items in order to tick them off your list -- perhaps forgetting the one item you needed for tonight's dinner will end up as a thing of the past.

If the children slip in a few bags of cookies and it's not on that list, you'll know -- as the trolley will send out a warning.

As shown in the video above, if you're having trouble finding a particular item, then the trolley can also act as a guide. The video shows a customer picking up an item containing gluten, when he specified gluten-free. As a result, the smart trolley is able to then advise and guide the customer towards the item they actually require.

When you have completed your shopping, a combination of a loyalty card system and the sensor technology allows you to avoid the queues and check-out immediately. The trolley 'know' what you have put in, and your details can be stored ahead of time in order to pay.

Thumbnail credit: Kam Worshops

Related:

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure