Because a bare cupboard and an empty fridge are sad sights to behold, the Urban Forager hunts through food & wine shops bringing home tasty morsels that make your kitchen table the best place to eat in town.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Smart Grocery Carts

Just when you thought companies had run out of ways to infiltrate your life with their “helpful” technology, you walk into a grocery store and there it is: The Smart Grocery Cart. Equipped with a computer, the cart will let you download the grocery list you wrote at home, map out where products are in the store, suggest sale items it is just sure you will want, and keep a running tally of your bill. Smart Carts aren’t anything new – they’ve been in various stages of development for years – but have never really caught on. The newest version was rolled out by Microsoft recently and will be debuting in ShopRite stores on the East Coast. I ask you: is this really the best use of technology? Couldn’t Microsoft re-focus their efforts on figuring out why the Microsoft Word Help Wizard never helps you with a damn thing? I hate that little wizard, and I hate the idea of shopping with a Smart Cart. If you shop in a store that’s so large you need a GPS to help you find the canned peas, then maybe you need to re-think where you shop. All these carts make me want to do is start shopping with a basket, or better yet, shop at smaller stores and markets. Maybe I’m wrong and this new technology will make our lives easier, but I don’t know. . . I’m already feeling nostalgic for my shopping lists scribbled on the back of an old envelope.