Sobeys is piloting one of their newest innovations at their Glen Abbey location in Oakville, Ontario this Wednesday. A robot shopping cart can be spotted around the stores, which will price all items that are placed into it, and allow the customer to pay for their groceries without waiting in line. The Sobeys shopping cart will have a screen attached to it that will show the price and allow you to swipe your card to pay. 

This cart will scan and weigh your items as you place them inside. It will then tally the items for you on a screen attached to the handle, and price everything, so you have a live receipt of your groceries while you shop. 

The aim of the project is to minimize wait times in line and to maximize convenience for everyone involved. They are planning to take it up a notch in the future by equipping the cart with technology that will also help customers navigate the aisles.

If this takes off, the future developments they are planning will also include product deals and savings that the shopping cart will highlight for you on the screen. It will also make product suggestions if it sees you are shopping for a specific type of recipe. This is AI technology that will be used in day to day life. Welcome to the future!

The pilot version will have a scanner to read barcodes, but the evolved future version they are planning will have an "identify item" feature which will use multiple high-resolution cameras to look at your item and identify it with the lens alone. 

The idea is that customers will be able to put groceries into the cart without the need for a barcode or a product code. The weight and look of the product should be enough for the smart cart to identify it. 

"While products and customer eating habits have evolved, the in-store grocery shopping experience has remained relatively static for the last 100 years," said Mathieu Lacoursiere, Vice President, Retail Support at Sobeys Inc. in the news release

"This is a unique way for us to test innovative new technologies aimed at enhancing the customer shopping experience and learn how best to make it faster and easier. The carts will also give our in-store teammates more time to interact with customers and answer questions about food and new products."

Sobeys has been on a roll this year. Just a couple of months ago, they announced they would be eliminating plastic bags by the beginning of 2020. We can't wait to see what they come up with next.

"The best Canadian brands aim to be world-class by thinking ahead and placing bets on unique innovations," Lacoursiere added.

"We're constantly looking for new ways to evolve the grocery shopping experience. During the Smart Cart pilot, we will engage with our customers in real-time to better understand what inspires them and adds value to their shopping experience throughout the store."

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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