Since the less-than-earth-shattering development of the self-checkout line, grocery shopping hasn't come a long way, technologically speaking. But Whole Foods is looking into creating a new kind of shopping experience, thanks to a new smart cart developed by Austin-based Chaotic Moon--one that pulls the lowly shopping cart into the 21st century with the help of a Microsoft Kinect.
We'll let the video demo below speak for itself, but briefly: Chaotic Moon has imbued its smart shopping cart with puppy-like brains via a Windows 8 tablet and vision via an Xbox Kinect setup. That means you can upload your shopping list to the cart and then walk around the store as the shopping cart follows you (did we mention this shopping cart is self-propelled?). As you place items in the cart, you scan their bar codes. The tablet ticks each item off your list, alerts you if you accidentally grab the wrong item, and--best of all--checks you out automatically when you're done, no waiting necessary.
The project is just getting underway--as you'll see below, all the kinks haven't quite been worked out of the system--but Whole Foods is already conducting a trial run of the smart carts. That should shorten the amount of time shoppers spend in the store and ease the overall shopping experience, though it won't make that organic hormone-free grass-fed locally-raised USDA Grade AAA dinner any easier on the pocketbook.
FINALLY!!!! MY DREAM OF AN IN-STORE GPS IS COMING TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
plus some added bonuses like item scanning, self propelled cart, and item recognition.
Talk about tech overload. I really need my shopping cart to cost Whole Foods hundreds of dollars more so I can save myself four minutes standing in line? I have to take out a second mortgage to go there as it is now.
This guy is a GENIUS!!!! Now I have a personal cart that follows me. No more pushing and shoving. Why would you waste time directing and squeezing a cart through an aisle when the cart can direct itself,following you. I envy little kids now. You don't have your Mommy pushing you and watching you. What a sight it would be at Publix; a random cart moving by itself following you. Ha!