Canadian retailer Sobeys is piloting the Smart Cart, an innovative technology-enhanced shopping cart that gives shoppers a highly-engaging, fast way to shop.
The carts — which were put into use this week at a location in Oakville, Ontario — feature technology that scans and weighs products as shoppers place them inside. A running tally of purchases is displayed and shoppers can pay on the spot, which negates the need to wait in line for checkout.
"While products and customer eating habits have evolved, the in-store grocery shopping experience has remained relatively static for the last 100 years." says Mathieu Lacoursiere, vice president of retail support at Sobeys. "This is a unique way for us to test innovative new technologies aimed at enhancing the customer shopping experience and learn how best to make it faster and easier. The carts will also give our in-store teammates more time to interact with customers and answer questions about food and new products."
The carts are equipped with AI and machine learning and feature an easy-to-read screen that will eventually help shoppers navigate the store to complete a shopping list, the company says. It includes multiple high-resolution cameras that capture 120 images per second as product is placed in the cart, which allows the cart to learn how to identify each item.
This technology will allow the cart to evolve from scanning product to identifying product, so shoppers will eventually be able to toss items into the cart with having to enter any information or scan barcodes.