The trolley has a colour screen and uses Wi-Fi to pinpoint itself in the store and has an RFID sensor that is used to flash up offers on shelves. To find an item the user says the name of what they are looking for into a microphone on the trolley handle. Voice recognition software then identifies the item sought.
The computer can also be programmed to display recipes for food while people shop and also flash up a warning if an item picked has too much fat. If the trolley is stolen it begins broadcasting its location immediately and the wheels lock to prevent movement.
Loyalty card customers can also swipe in their details and be shown relevant offers and see what they bought on previous visits.
Scott Ferris, general manager of the Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group at Microsoft said: "Digital advertising opportunities are expanding rapidly into new areas, as many of consumers' daily activities, such as shopping, become increasingly connected. Microsoft is committed to working with advertisers and agencies to take advantage of these opportunities as they unfold."
The trolleys are being built by Texas-based company MediaCart and a nine month pilot in Shoprite stores in the US begins next month. The company has said that the trolleys should come to the UK within a year or so.
Wi-Fi trolley finds shopping for you
By Iain Thomson on Mar 19, 2008 2:36PM