Remember back in the 90s when Hollywood kept releasing different movies about the same thing at the same time (think: Armageddon/Deep Impact in 1998).
Anyway, right now in the food tech world, everyone seems to be coming out with a smart shopping cart. In just this last month, we’ve covered Veeve, Storewide Active Intelligence (SAI) and Amazon’s Dash Cart (plus there’s Caper). Today, Tracxpoint added itself to the list by announcing its smart carts are now available for retailers in North America.
Tel-Aviv-based Tracxpoint creates a modular platform that can be retrofitted onto existing shopping carts with a combination of computer vision and a barcode scanner to automatically recognize products you put in (and take out) the cart. There is also an on-board touchscreen to display what you’re buying and navigate you around the store. Upon checkout, the shopper is automatically charged.
Tracxpoint isn’t a newcomer to the whole smart shopping cart space, however. According to a press release sent to The Spoon, European retailers, including the Conrad chain in Italy, already use Tracxpoint.
Like, well, everything today, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating new trends in grocery retail, including contactless forms of payments to reduce human-to-human interactions. Hence so many companies rushing into the smart cart space.
Smart carts might be an easier sell for retailers looking to get into cashierless checkout because they don’t require big retrofits or buildouts of the stores themselves. Instead of installing cameras in the ceiling and sensors on the shelves, all of those capabilities can be pushed directly into the cart. And with Tracxpoint and SAI, retailers don’t even need to buy new carts. They just place the tech on their existing ones.
And while this pandemic certainly feels like Armageddon sometimes, smart cart technologies could make a deep impact in the way we grocery shop. [ed. note: Sorry]