Smart shopping carts headed for London supermarkets?

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Shopping carts rigged up with a touch screens and barcode scanners might find their way into London supermarkets soon, according to Reuters. You’d simply scan an item and get a readout of how many calories, fat, and whatnot it contains. It’d be similar to looking at the back of item with your eyes except with a few more steps involved.

American technology services company, EDS, claims that "shoppers want barcode readers on their trolleys (shopping carts) to calculate the nutritional content and tell them when they have blown their calorific budget." Calorific. Nice.

So basically you’d scan everything before you put it in your cart and see a total of how much total calorificacity you’re toting around.

Nice idea in theory but it seems cumbersome and underwhelming at this point in time. There’s no doubt that some day most shopping carts will have features similar to these but they’ve got to do more than just add up products that you have to scan by hand. In fact, one survey showed that only 33% of shoppers would prefer the aforementioned system over the current eyeballs-to-brain system that we use today.

I remember reading an article quite some time ago about how Target stores were thinking about developing software for your cellphone that would allow you to make a list at home and then when you got to the store, you’d have waypoints on your phone that would direct you to where all your items were located. See, something like that would be cool and far less expensive than equipping hundreds of shopping carts with touch screens.

Some stores in the US are already running trials of these kinds of shopping carts. Anyone out there shop at a store that uses these yet? What do you think?

Shopping cart goes high-tech [Reuters]

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