Grocery Shopping With Kinect
Whole Foods is planning to test a new high-tech shopping cart using Microsoft’s Kinect sensor for Windows in some of it’s stores. Microsoft recently showed-off a very early prototype, being developed for Whole Foods by a third-party developer. Some of the planned features include:
- A motorized cart that identifies shoppers via a loyalty card.
- The cart follows the shopper around the store, as they shop, stopping and starting as the shopper does
- The system automatically scans items as they’re placed inside the cart, and marks them off the shopping list.
- Checks the shopper out in the end of the shopping trip.
This is an interesting twist on Kinect that shows what some creative outside developers can do with a Kinect software development kit, which expands the sensor beyond just what the Xbox 360 game console does.
Microsoft recently indicated that there are more than 300 companies currently working on commercial applications for Kinect on Windows. Some other example applications mentioned were:
- An immersing virtual tour of a new vehicle.
- One that lets children interact with a wildlife show.
Some other suggested uses have been:
- A cart that helps you unload your purchases into your car trunk, raising or lowering the height as needed.
- Garden Center Forklift that follows you out to your vehicle, and auto-loads pallets onto the back of a truck bed.
- A garden cart that follows you around the yard as you weed.