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Subject: Smart Carts for Dumb People

Written By: Red Ant on 10/11/07 at 12:26 pm

This is the future...

"US-based technology company EDS imagines such a world, where intelligent shopping carts scan bar codes on food as you load them into your cart, giving you nutritional and ethical information about the products (as well as price) you're about to eat."

Ethics? What, is it going to alarm with stuff like "Put the off brand tuna back, dolphin killer!", "You know a cow got spiked in the head to make that T-bone, right?" and "You're not really going to buy that genetically engineered potato, are you?"

A shopping cart with built in ethics... maybe they can also add an emotions program, so it says things like "Hey, pal, be careful where you put that cucumber!", "You're driving me too fast, I'm scared" and "OMG! You left your kid in the car: that's terrible".

More from the article:

"The concept carts are fitted with touch-screen computers that track the nutritional value of everything loaded into your cart. They tell you when you've exceeded a certain caloric limit or when your cart contains too many saturated fats, sodium, or carbohydrates."

Wow, that's an awesome concept. It's just like carrying a 99 cent calculator with you and reading the labels, except a lot more complicated and expensive!

"These smart-carts also save on packaging, since labels could be shed if consumers had access to nutritional information stored on the bar codes."

No, they won't. On many products the labels are built into the container (like a bag of chips or hot dogs), thus, there is no savings. A paper wrapper on a can of string beans is necessary, too, if for no other reason than to identify it as a can of string beans.


I guess fighting the tide of useless technology is ultimately futile, but if these smart shopping carts do make it to production, I imagine in 5 years there'll be a new Jeff Foxworthy joke:

"If your shopping cart is smarter than you are...."

Ant


Subject: Re: Smart Carts for Dumb People

Written By: snozberries on 10/11/07 at 1:08 pm


This is the future...

"The concept carts are fitted with touch-screen computers that track the nutritional value of everything loaded into your cart. They tell you when you've exceeded a certain caloric limit or when your cart contains too many saturated fats, sodium, or carbohydrates."


Ant




the problem with this is most people aren't shopping for one meal at a time in the store so how can it tell you if you've reached your caloric intake level.  Plus what if you're shopping for five....of course you're gonna exceed your limits. 

this sounds lame

Subject: Re: Smart Carts for Dumb People

Written By: Red Ant on 10/11/07 at 1:13 pm


the problem with this is most people aren't shopping for one meal at a time in the store so how can it tell you if you've reached your caloric intake level.  Plus what if you're shopping for five....of course you're gonna exceed your limits. 

this sounds lame


I suppose you could tell it you are shopping for 5 so it could recalculate the calories and what not before it tells you that you have too much stuff in your cart...

There's also the fact that shopping carts are frequently abused, left out in the rain, hit by cars, etc. A touch screen computer with a built in scanner wouldn't last long at all on one, unless it was like Mil-spec and cost 15k$ per unit.

Yeah, lame sums it up. 

Ant

Subject: Re: Smart Carts for Dumb People

Written By: wildcard on 10/11/07 at 1:53 pm

A computer is not going to know anyone's personal needs no matter how it's programmed or what you tell it.  If this ever comes I hope there's an off button.

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