Take the future of the grocery shopping cart for example. According to abcnews.go.com, “Brand new high-tech conveniences are on the way to a supermarket near you.”
The article explains that in the “Sci-Fi Supermarket,” the new “shopping buddy” system will scan your groceries with infrared technology as you place them in your cart, keep a tally of cost, and complete your checkout by giving you a total of your purchases. A quick fingerprint scan will allow the amount to be deducted from your bank account and you're out the door.
I’m sorry, but I don’t want a new shopping busybody system. I can just imagine what snarky “advances” skinny programmers will think to add to the system.
Like a tally of total calorie count, with a readout of Daily Average Calories flashing in 6-inch red diodes as I try to slip a carton of ice cream into my shopping "buddy." An alarm will scream, “EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED DAILY CALORIE ALLOTMENT,” while heads swivel to see what food crime I’ve committed. The information will then be electronically whisked to my primary care doctor and my health insurer, and my deductible will be raised $20 per food infraction.
In fact, I wouldn’t put it past our future “Preventative Health Team” of doctors and health care insurance underwriters to give us a Personalized Nutrition Plan based on our computer-assessed risk factors.
We’ll have to swipe a magnetic card into our digitally enhanced shopping carts, and our food choices will be selected for us, with GPS maneuvering our carts straight to the pre-selected broccoli and brown rice.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it. Of course, it’ll totally be your choice to use the system or not. You can always opt to pay the “nutritional non-compliance” insurance surcharge of 200 percent. Betcha George Jetson didn’t think of these possibilities.
Microsoft is pitching in to bring us the grocery shopping future. According to a press release by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway in mobiletechnology.suite101.com, a Microsoft computer chip loaded with data will be onboard the new MediaCart. Using “radio-frequency identification technology” (RFID), the cart will spew out all kinds of useful information while we’re shopping.
Personally, I can hardly wait for the paper stream of coupons, recipes and product endorsements automatically dispensed while I shop, as well as the constant chatter of video advertisements displayed on the onboard screen. What a pleasant shopping experience awaits us. It’ll be as fun as opening our ad-stuffed mailboxes.
Ironically, with all these “improvements” to the good ole shopping cart, the computer techies overlooked the one truly beneficial use for all their smart technology.
Their radio-frequency-guided shopping cart should wheel itself back into the store when it’s left in the middle of the parking lot. Now, that's a SmartCart!