Human Achievement of the Day: Smart Grocery Cart

The folks at Chaotic Moon, one of the world’s premiere mobile application studios, have turned their sights to a decidedly more domestic piece of modern technology: the shopping cart.

Having already utilized Microsoft Kinect, the motion-sensing device used in Xbox 360, to invent The Board of Awesomeness, Chaotic Moon is now wielding this technology for the benefit of the general consumer. Teaming with organic grocery giant Whole Foods, Chaotic Moon has created a prototype for a grocery cart, known as the Smarter Cart, that not only follows the customer around the store, but also identifies and adds up groceries as they are placed in the cart; can tell you which aisle your desired product is located in; and can even identify if you pick the “wrong” item. For example, in the video demonstration, non-gluten-free pasta is incorrectly chosen, which the cart’s scanner notes. The programmed voice lets the customer know where the correct pasta can be found.

The key to this fun and useful product is the movement-sensing Kinect software, synced with a Windows 8 tablet, which monitors user movement and follows accordingly. It also uses barcode scanning capability to keep track of the user’s groceries (including incorrect things placed into the cart mistakenly).

While the technology is only weeks into its development, Whole Food has tested single Smarter Carts in some stores, and will be demoing multiple carts in an Austin, Texas, store starting April 1.