Could "smart" shopping carts help keep you safer from COVID?

Istock Grocery Store 01292021
iStock/Chainarong Prasertthai

(OHIO) — Kroger supermarkets has launched a pilot program in Ohio that uses so-called “smart carts” to let its shoppers get what they need in a store without getting in a crowded line.

The devices, designed by a company called Caper, roll on friction-less wheels, and shoppers cruise from aisle to aisle, scanning their food as they go. The “KroGo” carts also give you suggestions as to sales and other information on a display — and more importantly — let you check out using a debit card right from your cart.

Then you take your reusable shopping bag, park the cart, and off you go.

Initially, the devices were designed to free up staff from the checkout lane, but in the days of the pandemic, they’re being envisioned as a way to shop that helps social distancing.

“In response to the…pandemic, the demand for autonomous checkout technology is driving grocers and retailers to innovate and adopt new technologies that keep shoppers safe and streamline checkout,” said CEO and co-founder of Caper Lindon Gao in a statement.

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