Sarah is visiting, and yesterday we hit up Stop and Shop to get some groceries for the week. This particular Stop and Shop had a new(ish) gadget available. It was a little scanner you’d carry around with your shopping cart. Whenever you put an item into your cart, you’d scan it first and then check out was… pretty much non-existent. You’d just drive your cart through the check out line, scan an ‘end of order’ barcode, pay, and leave.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience. Every time you scanned an item the price would pop right up, and the constant barrage of prices acts as a consistent reminder as to exactly what you’re spending. It would also beep regularly to alert you to special sale items – allowing additional savings (or purchasing, depending how you look at it).
I wonder if the technology is a little bit “Apple Newton” in the timing of its entry into the market. I hope that RFID shopping isn’t too far away, allowing us to see cost information and avoid the check-out simply by placing an item into our cart. RFID comes with its own set of problems, so as an intermediary step the scanning tool is pretty sweet.