It looks like Microsoft has plans to test a new technology known as “Mediacart” in some grocery stores in the US.
Customers with a ShopRite loyalty card will be able to log into a Web site at home and type in their grocery lists; when they get to the store and swipe their card on the MediaCart console, the list will appear. As shoppers scan their items and place them in their cart, the console gives a running price tally and checks items off the shopping list.
The system also uses radio-frequency identification to sense where the shopper’s cart is in the store. The RFID data can help ShopRite and food makers understand shopping patterns, and the technology can also be used to send certain advertisements to people at certain points – an ad for 50 cents off Oreos, for example, when a shopper enters the cookie aisle. Microsoft said it is still working on how it will present commercials and coupons.
If this is successful, grocery shopping as we know it may be very different in the years ahead.
I have heard many people say that this is an invasion of privacy, but I am okay with it as long as it helps save me money. The real benefit would be if it alerted you if a generic brand was cheaper. That would be worthwhile. I also like the fact that I need to use a separate program at home to have the shopping list pulled up because then I am inviting the system to target me by choice. The thing that worries me is if it no longer my choice.
so… you type your lists into a website. then travel to the store where you can print said list and the system tracks you as you fulfill items on said list.
why don’t they just fulfill the order and deliver it to your door? do away with the store and just have a warehouse and delivery vans? This is just a to-do list management and enforcement system…
I know that there is NetGrocer.com in the US, it is one of the few remnants of the first dotcom bust … I notice now that they deliver some perishable items (they never used to). I like the model, but don’t know of anything like this in Canada, at least not as large in scale.
Sounds pretty cool, but I’m wondering if it’ll really save time or just be techy. I’m thinking like D’Arcy – why don’t they just deliver the stuff so I don’t have to go to the store? *smile*