Whole Foods Has a Kinect-powered Cart and It Rocks

A huge part of Kinect's success has been the way the developer community embraced the device. The motion sensor has been hacked for countless different projects and the world has used the device in ways even Microsoft couldn't have imagined. This week, Whole Foods is joining the droves of people using Kinect for a purpose other than gaming with a new shopping cart that incorporates the technology.

GeekWire reports that Whole Foods is working on a new breed of shopping cart that will combine shopping lists, a loyalty points system, and even some aspects of self check-out. The cart is being developed by third party developer Chaotic Moon and was shown off as part of a developer event in Redmond this week.

The cart first identifies a shopper with a loyalty card before following them around the store (literally following them, the user doesn't even have to push), scanning items as they're placed in the cart and marking them off the user's shopping list. It will even warn you if you've picked up an item containing an ingredient you don't want (the example in the demo below is gluten). Once the shopping is done, the cart can then act as a check-out for the groceries. Check out GeekWire's demo below -- it's pretty awesome:

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Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • signor
    seems legit, however i may just walk out of the store with it and take the screen home
  • 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.
    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
    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.

  • 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.
  • sporkimus
    Good lord... have we really gotten THAT lazy that we can't even push around shopping carts anymore?
  • house70
    If this can really check out for you, avoiding the lanes, that would be great.
  • jgutz2006
    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
    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.

  • oldnick25
    How do I get my groceries to my car? Do I transfer it to another cart?