Kinect demo makes grocery shopping more automatic

It's one of the most tedious activities that nearly everyone has to do: grocery shopping. But can going to the store be more fun and more efficient? Microsoft and Whole Foods think so. In a new demo that was shown today at Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Washington, the company revealed a prototype of a new kind of shopping cart using its Kinect for Windows device.

As reported by Geekwire, the demo was actually created based on a prototype made by the high end grocery store Whole Foods. With the Kinect device attached, a person can show his or her loyalty card from the store to the motorized cart. The cart then spends its time following the shopper around the aisles while going over the user's shopping list.

The cart can scan each item as they are placed inside and then take them off the shopping list. Finally, it can check out the shopper when they are finished. About the only things the cart can't do are take the items from the shelves and then bag them.

Microsoft says this prototype is just a few weeks old but represents just what can be done with Kinect for Windows, which officially launched earlier this month. There's no word on when or even if Whole Foods will be launching this new kind of shopping cart. Microsoft says that over 300 companies are creating applications and products based on Kinect for Windows.

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