March 2, 2012
Microsoft has demonstrated an early prototype of a Kinect-powered shopping cart, which is being developed for Whole Foods by Texas-based company Chaotic Moon. The project is called the “Smarter Cart” and it uses a tablet and scanners to read the items you place inside, check whether they’re on your shopping list, cross them off and ring them up.
The motorized cart can follow you around the store and has voice recognition and speech so you can give it instructions and it can let you know if the item you added wasn’t on your list or is the wrong type of item. The “Smarter Cart” has a Windows 8 tablet and uses a UPC scanner and RFID to read the items. All you really need to do is upload a shopping list and place the items in the cart. It will cross them off your list and you won’t have to wait in a long line at the checkout because your items are rung up as you go.
Check out the cart in action in GeekWire‘s video below:
February 21, 2012
Spotted the below on the JWT Intelligence site. The graphic and text highlights the opportunities for some retailers when it comes to their physical retail space. It would be good to see some of the UK retailers taking up the ideas and highlighted below to create to really brand affinity and awareness.
With more people buying online, retail spaces will increasingly serve as a “third space” that’s only partly about shopping (one of our Trends for 2011). In the food sector, as online services such as FreshDirect and Seamless.com expand, consumers are seeking real-world spaces where they can not only eat or buy food but meet people and enjoy unique experiences, as we found in a survey conducted for our February trend report on food.
Our study, which polled 1,270 adults in the U.K. and the U.S., found that Millennials are most eager for third-space experiences at food outlets. More than 7 in 10 said they would be interested in special events at grocery stores or restaurants, and more than half liked the idea of communal tables and meeting other diners at restaurants. Gen Xers are somewhat less interested, while Boomers lag Millennials by more than 20 points on each question.
Some retailers are pitching themselves as more than just a place to pick up supplies, like Whole Foods, which recently debuted a series of comedy videos on YouTube that showcase the store as a spot for socializing and matchmaking. See our trend report, “What’s Cooking?,” for more on how the idea of the third space is manifesting in the food sector.