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Brief Published: 21 Jun 2012

High-Tech Shopping Trolleys


Technology is slowly but surely infiltrating our shopping habits on every level – now including the humble shopping trolley. 

In an effort to enhance the in-store journey, US supermarket chain Whole Foods has launched a prototype for a high-tech interactive shopping trolley that the brand claims will help consumers save time and money. 

Branded the ‘Smarter Cart’, it’s been designed by US computing giant Microsoft in collaboration with American app developer Chaotic Moon. It includes a Windows 8 tablet, allowing customers to compile a shopping list, from which the cart subsequently suggests suitable products and recipes. 

It can help save yet more time with the use of a UPC/RFID scanner that can identify the products placed inside the trolley, checking items off the list and ringing up the purchases automatically. Another key, somewhat futuristic feature, is that the cart is self-propelling – meaning it will follow customers around the store while they find their desired items.

Whole Foods isn’t the only retailer to have jumped on the tech-fuelled shopping cart bandwagon. The Lambent Shopping Trolley Handle, developed by researchers at the Open University in England, incorporates a multicolour display and scanner that provides additional product information.

In China and Korea, the Smart Cart – designed by South Korea’s SK Telecom – comes equipped with a tablet that can be synchronised with consumers’ smartphones. The system is capable of downloading a shopping list direct from the phone, then offering relevant information regarding the location of those items and also discounts.

Chaotic Moon 

Whole Foods