Let’s face it, for the most part, shopping for groceries is a pretty basic routine that consists of getting a shopping cart, pushing it around the store as you search for items on your grocery list. When you’re done with your list, you head to the checkout stand and either have a cashier check you out or alternatively, you can go to a self checkout stand if your grocery store offers that service.
It would appear that the grocery chain Whole Foods would like to mix things up a bit by adding some new technology to your shopping experience. Their concept of shopping for the future includes adding some smarts to the grocery carts themselves. In fact, a prototype model of one of these carts has been already been fitted with a Microsoft Kinect sensor now that the kit has been made available for the Windows operating system. With this sensor now attached to the cart, it will now have the ability to recognize a shopper that enters the store with a loyalty card. In doing that, the cart will then automatically follow the customer around the store, in other words, pushing the cart is now obsolete. As users go about their job of shopping, all they have to do is place the items into the cart and the cart will then scan and price the items. It will also remove the items from a digital grocery list and when your shopping trip is over, it will give you a final total and check you out.
As mentioned earlier, this is a very early prototype and apparently an early demonstration of the technology did lead to some false starts.