A while back, we decided to start a conversation about the possibilities of technology and retail (and have some fun) by revolutionizing the grocery store experience with the SmartCart, an autonomous grocery cart programmed to follow shoppers through store aisles and help them avoid checkout-line hassle by scanning items as they go.
The bottom line is that it was pretty cool.
(In case you missed it, click here to check out the SmartCart.)
And now that we’re on the same page—and in total awe of the myriad ways in which a robot cart could help us stock up on kale—say hello to the latest version: an even smarter cart destined to further improve the shopping experience.
“Have you been to the supermarket lately?” asked Chaotic Moon CEO Ben Lamm. “It’s a terrible user experience. Crowded aisles, shopping carts with bum wheels and long check out lines…We built the Smarter Cart to make grocery shopping less hellish and actually enjoyable. The 1.0 version was awesome project, but we’re excited to take it 20 steps further and make the SmartCart totally genius.”
The new version of the SmartCart—dubbed, obviously, the SmartestCart—is currently being developed and is expected to boast even more innovative features than the original, including the following:
- Facial recognition technology, which gives the cart the ability to know exactly what individual is operating it, eliminating the need for store discount cards, physical methods of payment, etc.
- The ability to access data and consumer profiles containing info like the shopper’s grocery list and allergies from a supermarket chain’s database, if they opted to incorporate a cloud-based service (which, naturally, the brains at Chaotic Moon would happily create)
- A recipe feature that, when the customer scans an item, would present ideas including that as an ingredient, along with an associated shopping list to make the recipe a reality
- The integration of software that would help customers make better decisions regarding price, nutrition, etc. and generally provide more information about a product (like whether produce is locally sourced), simultaneously allowing stores to present the shopper with customized deals and specials
- Improved speech recognition and tracking that allows the cart to recognize and react to its environment
For consumers, the SmartestCart would create the most simple, streamlined and stress-free shopping experience in existence, while for stores, it presents the opportunity to increase efficiency, gather more data, and have access to more analytics than ever before.
“The application of this data combined with the hardware will be revolutionary for whoever adapts it,” Lamm said. “It may seem futuristic to some, but this pervasive approach is where technology is headed, and if it can enhance and simplify something mundane, like grocery shopping, I think we can all agree it’s technology worth adopting.”