Concierge: Shopping carts go high-tech

One of the greatest benefits of those handy self-checkout systems at the grocery store is that you usually don't get stuck behind someone who's overly chatty with the cashier. Now technology promises to free you from even having to ask which aisle the pork rinds are in. The Concierge system from Springboard Networks is a cart-mounted computer interface with LCD screen that can help you find your beloved Count Chocula and make the shopping experience less of a burden.

While still in the concept stage, the device could be the biggest revolution in shopping since sliced bread (couldn't resist), as it can keep a running tally on items in your cart and further reduce checkout time. It can also be used with interactive shopping lists and features a product finder, so you're not aimlessly wandering up and down aisles. Of course, the downside is that your shopping trends will be more easily monitored — letting Big Brother know what snack foods your eating — and you'll likely have to face in-store ads as you shop. But it still beats standing behind the lady with the walker who insists on paying for all her groceries with pennies.