Whole Foods' sci-fi shopping cart stalks you as you shop

"I'm sorry; that's not the proper spaghetti. Put it back on the shelf. Now." It'll be a frightening new world if and when this prototype Kinect-enabled shopping cart hits the aisles.

He was found in the tomato-sauce aisle, with one arm torn off at the elbow. Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

Wow. And you thought " S*** That Siri Says " was funny. Wait till this Kinect-enabled shopping cart from Whole Foods hits the real world. The possibilities for parody (and aisle-storming, non-gluten-free-linguini-flinging mayhem) are infinite.

As Geekwire reports, Microsoft demoed this very early prototype at an event on its Redmond, Wash., campus today. The motorized, talking cart is kitted out with a Kinect sensor for Windows, and other scanning gear, and can detect items as you place them in the cart; alert you to items that don't jibe with your preprogrammed dietary constraints; ring you up and charge your account; and, perhaps most chillingly, follow you around the store.

Whole Foods is working with Austin, Texas-based mad scientists Chaotic Moon on the project, so by the time these carts are released (scary verb), they should be able to read minds . Lord knows what that might mean. Do please offer up your theories in the comments section.

One word of warning about the video though. Despite the horror-show/comedic possibilities, there is a moment where the tone suddenly changes. If you recently got dumped (Valentine's Day just passed, after all), you might find it difficult to take the scene where the shopper bids our hard-working, selflessly servile cart a cold "goodbye." The cart's silent acceptance is heartbreaking.

About the author

Edward Moyer is an associate editor at CNET News and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch.

 

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