Chinese supermarket trying wifi/tablet-equipped shopping carts

It doesn’t have quite the appeal of sending a robot to do your shopping, but this Smart Cart service being trialed by SK Telecom could definitely take some of the hassle out of trolling the supermarket aisles.

Just launched at the Shanghai Lotus Supermarket in China, the system consists of WiFi-enabled, tablet PC-equipped shopping carts and a smartphone app that can be synchronized with the tablet. By utilizing indoor positioning technology and augmented reality, the shopping “Smart” cart becomes a virtual shopping aide.

The Smart Cart application allows customers to search for shopping and discount information, store coupons, as well as to create a shopping list.

After getting to the market, the app synchronizes with the tablet PC mounted to the cart’s handle, uploads the shopping list and authenticates the user. Wandering through the store’s aisles, customers get product and discount information linked to their current location within the store, which is established to within three feet via a WiFi network.

Way cool. I’m the sort of regular shopper who knows aisle-by-aisle what I’m looking for; but, that doesn’t allow for new goodies to tempt the palate.

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