Microsoft and US-based MediaCart Holdings have debuted a console that can be mounted on a shopping trolley to help shoppers find the items thet want, scan and pay for them – all without queuing to check out.
The consoles, which would also be used for advertising, will go into testing at US supermarkets in the second half of this year.
Shoppers will be able to type up their shopping lists, selecting items from the supermarket's Web site, and load the information on to a loyalty card.
Once in the store, the loyalty card will be swiped at the console to display the shopping list. As the shopper selects and scans items, they'll be removed from the list and a running total displayed.
Using RFID, the console also knows where the trolley is in the store, and where to locate items on the list.
The advertising side of it is important to Microsoft, which recently paid $6-billion for online advertising company aQuantive.