Whole Foods Seeks to Kinect wth Customers
By George Anderson
February 29, 2012
I have to admit that I’m usually tickled pink when I get to a store and find a cart that isn’t filled with soaked flyers and has wheels that don’t wobble. That’s good enough for me. But for some time, inventors of various sorts have seem preoccupied with the idea of coming up with a smart cart to improve the shopping experience and, typically, create a new stream of advertising revenue.
While smart shopping cart ventures have failed to establish a significant presence at retail up to this point, Microsoft, Whole Foods and Chaotic Moon, a third-party developer, have begun testing a prototype called the “Smarter Cart” that has the internet buzzing.
According to reports, the new cart is motorized and comes with a Windows 8 tablet attached to the handlebars. Using Microsoft’s Kinect, it will follow a shopper, identified with a loyalty card, around the store. Items are automatically scanned as the shopper places them in the cart. The cart then handles the checkout at the end of the shopping trip.
The cart can also check off items from a shopping list as it goes. A video on the GeekWire site shows the cart alerting the shopper that a pasta with gluten was added when a gluten-free item was on the list.
Kinect Grocery Cart – GeekWire/YouTube
Whole Foods prototype puts Kinect on shopping cart, follows people around store – GeekWire
Microsoft Kinect Games Grocery Shopping at Texas Whole Foods – Wired
Whole Foods’ sci-fi shopping cart stalks you as you shop – CNET
Whole Foods Testing Kinect-Equipped Shopping Cart – PCMag.com