The grocery store chain Whole Foods is experimenting with shopping carts powered by Kinect, the same technology that allows video games to sense players’ movements. The smart carts are controlled by a tablet computer, and have the ability to drive themselves down grocery store aisles, keep an eye on your shopping list, and even warn you if you’ve grabbed the wrong item off the shelf.

This last feature can do much more than just alert you if you’ve unintentionally picked up the wrong brand of detergent. According toEngadget,the program can also be set up to alert you when the item you’re about to buy contains a food allergen you’re trying to avoid. Set it to avoid peanuts, and the device will sound the alert if you try to purchase something listing peanut products as an ingredient.

Though the cart is still in development, it could someday be possible to forego reading ingredient lists entirely, instead relying on your shopping cart to steer you away from dangerous foods. The hope is that someday, those with food allergies could shop without having to look at the back of every package of food to see if it’s safe. What do you think of this idea? Would you trust a shopping cart to keep watch over your family’s groceries?


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