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Shopping Buddy offers shoppers wireless computer check out ability

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posted on Oct, 18 2003 @ 02:34 PM
Well replacing the Cashier with a robot isn't anything new. The reason this kind of thing would worry your average ATSer, over five years of age, is that as monitoring and "magic" tech intrudes we'll accept it w/o thought. Anything that is wireless and transmits can be used to track. If your teenaged son grew up with this, along with other ubiquitous wireless tech, they might ask: "What's Privacy?"

Paranoia aside, this thing is pretty cool. It'll tally up your items and you pay right at the "cart". It'll "alert" you to specials and using saves you FIVE dollars off your purchase.

What do customers say? Don't be surprised:

"For some shoppers, the effect is slightly creepy. "I liked it," said Julie Vialpando of Quincy. "It tells me what's on sale." But, she added, "I feel like I'm being watched."

Stop & Shop spokeswoman Faith Weiner said that her company's into customer convenience, not customer surveillance. "Privacy is an issue that we take seriously," Weiner said. For example, she said, Stop & Shop will not sell personal information about customers. "If you violate a customer's privacy, you violate their trust."

and, a good laugh for those of us that know:

"Based on a stripped-down version of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system, the Shopping Buddy crams three different forms of wireless communications into one device. An infrared transmitter sends signals to receivers mounted in the ceiling every few feet. That's how the store's computer network always "knows" where each Shopping Buddy is located."

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