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Smart shop basket Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016231D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Aug-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a method for supermarket customers to easily access products throughout the supermarket even if they have no knowledge of where those items are. This will be achieved by creating a shopping cart that has a display and a computer that can direct a user to the area of the store where the desired product is located. The user specifies the products they want to buy, and the amount of time they are willing to spend. (It is advantageous to the supermarket for the customer to spend additional time browsing whenever possible, since this stimulates impulse purchases.) The cart directs the users to all the places where their requested products are located. If the customer has indicated that he/she has a time constraint, the cart will provide the most direct and optimized route. If the customer indicates a willingness to "browse" and there is sufficient time, the cart can direct the customer to areas of items on sale, or areas that the customer has (historically) frequented. Then the cart routes the user to the cashier and the customer checks out. The cart has a view of the cashiers and can determine whether or not they are occupied. The cart will signal the user when they should head towards the cashier. Since the carts will be directing the cashier queue, customer wait times will be reduced customers will only advance to the cashier when the cart indicates that the cashier is available. This allows the customer additional time browsing (and potentially buying more items) rather than spending time in queue. A business model may be proposed that if the cart does not bring the customer to the cashier in the allotted time, the customer may receive a discount on his purchases. To further speed up the check out process, the user's products are tallied up in the cart with the use of an infrared scanner. Shoppers with special needs can indicate their disability before they begin their shopping. Through this option the cart will decide how to maximize the customer's shopping experience. For customers with low vision, the cart may trigger light flashes on the desired product. (This may be a desirable feature for all shoppers, to call attention to the desired product quickly.) For blind users, the cart can be equipped with a special link so that labels can be read out to the customer. 1