A shopping cart that follows you is no longer a scene from a movie, as Microsoft is demoing the cart of the future, Kinect- powered and fitted with a Windows 8 tablet. Besides following you around the store, the motorised device can also scan your items and has voice- recognition that allows you to give it commands and get a reply back. It compares products from your shopping list to those in your cart and notifies you when you’ve picked the wrong one. It lets you know where products are located inside the store and when your list is finished. Whole Foods, a leading retailer of organic foods, is the first grocer to test it in its US stores.
Watch the video below to see it in action:
What’ s on the screen?
We wished that the tablet was filmed during the shopping process too, but from what we could see at the beginning, there is a video of the person using the cart (arguably an unnecessary thing for the customer)- occupying much of the space, the Whole Foods brand (which is good for the retailer), probably the list of items added to the cart and other messages such as ”Thank You” or ”Good bye”. Adverts or suggestions of other products might also be a right fit.
some things might not work that well….
While the idea behind the concept is to offer customers an enhanced shopping experience, I’m afraid that certain elements might actually stay in the way of that purpose. To get a cart following you in a very crowded store might be a very difficult thing to accomplish (as you could see in the video, the cart failed to follow one person’s movements 100% accurately). And would the device be able to pick up your voice commands in a noisy environment that might become even noisier now that the carts are ”talking too” (along customers and shopping assistants). Our suggestion- keep it simple. Focus on its core purpose- guiding and assisting customers throughout their shopping trip via visual messages (I don’t thing that anyone is really bothered about pushing a cart). Sometimes, less is more (and better).
Any thoughts on the new gist? Let us know below.