Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Homeless in San Francisco go hi-tech

According to this article...

"Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) (MSFT) is bringing digital advertising to the grocery cart. The software maker spent four years working with Plano, Texas-based MediaCart Holdings Inc. on a grocery cart-mounted console that helps shoppers find products in the store, then scan and pay for their items without waiting in the checkout line."

Not only will your shopping cart reboot with blue screens, but the homeless will now have the worlds most expensive shopping carts to live out of. I heard once that a high percentage of the markup on grocery store goods is a result of all of the stolen grocery carts. Those things are expensive!

When I was in Holland, they had a better idea. It was a hand held unit. You picked it up on the way in from a wall tree of units and as you walked around the store you simply scanned each item as you put it in the cart. When you were done, you docked the unit again, put your groceries into the bags that you brought with you (another earth saving feature) and just walked out of the store. There wasn't even anyone checking to make sure you didn't 'forget' to scan something. The Dutch are so trusting.

Someone with their head on backwards also thinks this is a good idea that people will use:

"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."

What a joke, who the heck is going to build grocery lists at home via a web browser? Sure, I do it for my expensive Planet Organics orders, but that is because I don't have a choice (it is their only option and I think that most people just go with their default options). Doesn't anyone realize that 99% of the people out there buy their groceries based on all of that market research that grocery stores do with regards to product placement? The chips are next to the dip for a reason. Websites will never be able to simulate that correctly. I can't imagine grandma or even my father using this system at all.

Oh, I just found this great little article on Snopes.com. Apparently, people didn't like the shopping carts when they were first invented. "The answer was a resounding no — folks preferred to stick with what they knew rather than play around with an unusual-looking contraption..."

No comments: