Smart shopping carts on the rise due to the pandemic

ST. LOUIS- The pandemic has more industry’s looking for ways to create no-touch and low-touch experiences. For grocery stores, that includes smart shopping carts.

Kroger grocery stores are testing 20 smart carts at a location in Cincinnati. Other companies are also testing them out like Amazon and Whole Foods.

The Kroger smart carts include a video screen and a card swipe terminal, and even a scale where you can weigh produce.

The “KroGo” carts use computer vision and artificial intelligence to capture what items look like from various angles. Scott Schaffer, Chief Information Security Office with Blade Technology, says there is software from the company Caper that generates a 3D model and compares it to a database of product images to determine the item.

Once the item is recognized, the price will appear on the video screen. It also works in reverse. If you remove an item from your cart it will remove the price from your total.

There is the potential for the carts to also be able to connect to your smart phone or watch and you could pay using your device.

So what’s the pay off for grocery stores? Schaffer says the carts cost about $1,000 each. However, the grocery store will likely be able to get good marketing information on the shoppers.

There is also an opportunity to target ads on the video displays based on what you are putting into your cart.

He thinks the “KroGo” may become more mainstream over other options because it eliminates having to interact with anyone in the store, something that may appeal to both shoppers and the store.

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