Whole Foods Has a Kinect-powered Cart and It Rocks

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Seems like a cool idea, but I would be interested to see how noisy an aisle would be with 10 of them going off all at once. Maybe a bluetooth earpiece connection would be a good idea here.
 

JOSHSKORN

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I hope they don't try this where minorities live, particularly Los Angeles, when they have idiots that burn place cars when a sport team wins.
 

drwho1

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If this makes it to the stores.... how long will they last before they get stolen?
It seems like a good idea, but I wonder if this would actually work in the real world.

 
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I can see it working...the cart never leaves the store, they just ring you up and switch you to a regular cart to take items to car. You empty the car at the register anyway for stuff to be scanned.
 

jgutz2006

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so one thing that people havent mentioned, is this give and go conversation. How is this going to work when you have 5 other carts and people nearby and theyre all talking ? Its like those "Pete the repeating parrot" once you push the button and say something, then push the button on 5 more, they keep repeating eachother over and over! Also will it be able to tell which of the 4 people in front of it are you and follow the correct person? will multiple carts in the same area be banging around? I like this tech but think that dropping the following cart gimmick. Maybe use as an app for people to have on their own devices
 

CDdude55

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This is great, basically makes Cashiering obsolete. The biggest thing to worry about is making sure people don't run off with the cart. But this can be easily remedied as well. You can make it so that the cart locks up when it goes past a certain point in the lot (some already do that). Then it's really just a matter of securing the device itself (the camera and screen) which can be done easily as well.

 
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What happens when I meet someone, talk to them, then they say "Goodbye" and my cart stops following me?
 

gm0n3y

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The part where if follows you around isn't really very useful, but having it recognize products and automate checkout would be very useful. The only reason I ever shop at Whole Foods is for fruit/veggies and how would it recognize those? You can't put an RFID on every leaf of spinach.
 

jhansonxi

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I can see this closing a information gap - stores only know what you bought, not what you considered buying. Advertisers would love to get that info. No worries, just another nail in privacy's coffin.
 

velocityg4

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It does seem like an interesting concept but there are some caveats.

- The scanner needs to be higher up so that it doesn't get buried by groceries.
- Energy use (this just seems like a horrible waste of electricity) on that note what about all the batteries being used. Just think of a busy store with 100 or more shoppers at any given time during the day using up electricity on self propelled carts.
- Theft: Not just of the cart but what about people just tossing extra stuff into the cart. There is no weight sensor which wouldn't be very useful anyway when stuff is constantly shifting around.
- What do you do after your done shopping? Does it follow you to your car and return to the store? Do you have to transfer items to a regular cart?
- Injuries: What will happen when someone places their child in the cart and they get injured by the cart hitting something? How about the cart hitting people? This seems like a big liability.
- Weight handling: Can it handle someone buying 50lbs sacks of wheat? If so that goes back to the complaint of energy use even more heavily.

All in all the idea of a scanner and touchscreen is great. Self propelled not so much. The scanner and computer just need to be in better positions, more securely fashioned, robust and weatherproof.
 

blazorthon

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[citation][nom]jgutz2006[/nom]so one thing that people havent mentioned, is this give and go conversation. How is this going to work when you have 5 other carts and people nearby and theyre all talking ? Its like those "Pete the repeating parrot" once you push the button and say something, then push the button on 5 more, they keep repeating eachother over and over! Also will it be able to tell which of the 4 people in front of it are you and follow the correct person? will multiple carts in the same area be banging around? I like this tech but think that dropping the following cart gimmick. Maybe use as an app for people to have on their own devices[/citation]

Audio software can recognize voice patterns. If you intentionally speak in a very different way than you normally do then you could fool it, but different people's voices should only get mixed up if they have very similar voices.

Honestly, I don't care if I need to push a cart around or not. So long as it does checkout without me needing to go through actual checkout and such after waiting in lines I'll be much happier to go to a store when I need some more food and stuff.
 

blazorthon

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@ my above comment, it would be more accurate to say that some audio software can identify individual voice patterns, probably not all audio recognition software.
 

eiskrystal

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The sensor is at the bottom which is the dumbest place to put it. Crossing someones path may make the vehicle latch onto the 2nd person. No obvious security measures in place. More technology means more likely to break down and harder to fix. Loud annoying voice. Do you really want your shopping list broadcast to the entire store?

CONDOMS, LARGE, EXTRA RIBBED, BLUE!
 

blazorthon

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[citation][nom]eiskrystal[/nom]The sensor is at the bottom which is the dumbest place to put it. Crossing someones path may make the vehicle latch onto the 2nd person. No obvious security measures in place. More technology means more likely to break down and harder to fix. Loud annoying voice. Do you really want your shopping list broadcast to the entire store? CONDOMS, LARGE, EXTRA RIBBED, BLUE![/citation]

It could ditch the voice in favor of a a display showing you what you have. It could have a privacy filter so someone would need to be more or less directly in front of it to view it.
 
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