Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life

vendredi 2 mai 2003

Do you sometimes feel lost in the aisles of your giant supermarket and frustrated because you don't find what you are searching for? If the answer is yes, satellite-guided carts will soon be able to help you. This is what tells us the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press.

Murray Laidlaw has designed a hi-tech trolley that will use a sophisticated Global Positioning System to make shopping trips more methodical and less confusing and time-consuming.
Receiving information from satellites orbiting the earth, the trolley will 'know' its location in the store, and can advise on special offers and products in nearby aisles. It will also keep a running total of purchases.

And guess why Laidlaw designed this product?

He came up with the idea after finding that the weekly food shopping trip was driving him mad. "It was the queuing at the checkout, and I also realized that lots of people just don't shop in a methodical manner," he said. "They waste so much time."

Laidlaw received a Smart award from the Small Business Service, part of the Department of Trade and Industry. The money he received has allowed him to employ the services of an industrial designer to produce the hardware, and another specialist to develop the software.

And when will be able to shop with these GPS carts?

Mr Laidlaw, 49, a director of Norwich product design specialists Top Hat Productions, hopes to have a prototype in six months and then to run a pilot in a supermarket within a year.

Knowing the accuracy of GPS devices, it's hard to imagine that such a cart will find your favorite soft drink.

And now the best: the device, which will sit on the cart's handle, will also suggest recipes.

Source: Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, April 29, 2003

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