It's one thing to be able to shop for their groceries on train platforms, but it's another to have tablets built into supermarket shopping carts. SK Telecom's pilot program in Shanghai's Lotus Supermarkets pack tablets that sync to your smartphone and blast out coupons and discounts while you shop. Snazzy.
SK Telecom's "Smart Cart" is meant to make the mundane task of grocery shopping a little more exciting. If coupons and tablets get you all hot and bothered, then the Smart Cart might interest you.
Lotus shoppers will first need to download an app to their smartphone that is used to create a shopping list and search for coupons and discounts. Once shoppers are inside of the supermarket racing down the aisles, the app will sync up with the store's Wi-Fi network and cart's tablet to provide "real-time indoor positioning" that'll dole out coupons and discounts depending on where you're at.
For example, if you were in the dairy aisle, the tablet might use augmented reality to let you know that Ben & Jerry's ice-cream is on sale or that there's a new kind of organic apple juice in the juice aisle with a sampling booth near it.
SK Telecom's touting the tablet and smartphone shopping cart combo as the first of its kind and is hoping its trial run in China will yield successful results that'll lead to more more marts with Smart Carts.
I'm all down for technology and shopping, but those tablet carts better get a clean wipe down every time they're returned to their cart lines or else I wouldn't be caught touching those germ-infested touchscreens.