Planet CNET: New ways to shop for mates and tuna fishShopping by cell phone takes on a whole new meaning in Australia, Wi-Fi flies high over San Francisco, and grocery carts get a lot smarter in Singapore.
>> Hello, technology fans. My name is Rory Reed and you are watching Planet CNET, the show where the finest CNET editors from around the globe smack you upside the head with the latest in gadget porn. But don't worry, this type is actually safe for work. First up we're going to head over to the Commonwealth of Australia to give it its proper name where Ella Morton has found some tech that is helping geeks to get it on. >> Technology has been helping geeks hook up since the days of ASL on IRC but now from Australia comes Meet Me. The world's first dating service to introduce people by a 3G video call. [ Music ] So how does Meet Me unite photogenic singles in front of famous Sydney landmarks? We'll let their instructional video explain. >> They tell Meet Me who they are, what person they'd like to meet and what they want out of their relationship. When a match has been found, Meet Me shows them a picture to which they can reply with a yes or a no. If it's a mutual match, Meet Me puts the two in contact without revealing any of their details not even their mobile number. >> In the online dating industry there are, you know, heaps of choices, that makes it hard to pick someone, it makes it hard to choose one person who can be good for you because you're sort of thinking maybe there's someone better out there but with this Meet Me service you only get those who actually suits you. >> The introduction calls are two minutes long, why two minutes, why not say one minute or five minutes? >> We feel that two minutes gives you enough time to determine whether or not you actually like someone enough to take it further but it's not so long that you actually get stuck on a call with someone that you're not clicking with. It's a better base for actually finding true love. >> Sounds very promising. But how does it work for real people? [ Dialing a phone, phone ringing ] >> So tell me, what are you into? >> Well, obviously at the moment it's all about world of warcraft, I mean, [inaudible] you know, crazy so, this weekend I was just going to, you know, spend some time in Northrens, [beep] just keep questing, you know, grinding, try to level up to 80. Hello? Hello? >> I'm Ella Morton for Planet CNET. >> Gorgeous, intelligent, kind, sweet, witty, but enough about me, thanks for that report, Ella. And good luck finding a boyfriend. Call me. My next stop on this world tour is Singapore where John Chan [phonetic] reckons he's found an intelligent shopping trolley. >> If you're anything like me you spend half your time in supermarkets looking for stuff before giving up and asking someone. Even though I may not know where I am this shopping trolley does. We're at the latest branch of Singapore supermarket chain, Marketplace, at One North Palace and this future cart is tracking my every movement. Installed in everyone of these carts is an RFID reader, the supermarket is divided into zones using these tags and the cart will know which zone you're at. So, depending on your location the screen here will show different advertisements. For example, we're here at the ice cream section now and you can see the screen is trying to make me buy this brand. Of course, it will be a big waste if something like that is used solely for advertising, because it's in its infancy that's all this RFID card does now. But in the future, it will be able to do more. >> With future cart you can input your shopping list onto your PC and then using a loyalty card or thumbdrive download it onto the future cart screen, so you're shopping list is now on the screen in front of you and the future cart screen will tell you you need onions, you need garlic, you need to find paprika. So, you press on the touchscreen paprika and there comes a little map or a little diagram telling you exactly how you get to aisle four and where the paprika is located. >> Imagine that, your shopping cart telling you where you are on a map. It will be as if you are in a video game, except the other shoppers aren't trying to put bullets through you. And instead of having to check off every item individually, this cart may one day be able to check every item you put into it so you can just walk off after shopping. This is the future of grocery shopping and hopefully we'll see its full implementation in more supermarkets soon. I'm John Chan, checking out from Singapore. >> Thank you, John, impressive stuff but I don't need to know what aisle paprika is in. I don't even know what a paprika is. In fact, forget RFID tags and touchscreens, all I want is a trolley I can actually push in a straight line. Get your clever scientists working on that, dammit. All right. My final stop on planet CNET takes me to the good old U.S. of A., where Cara Suboy [phonetic] is about to join the mile-high Internet Club. [ Background noise ] >> Hey there, I'm Cara Suboy, CNET.com and I am about to board a Virgin America flight with my laptop to actually surf the web online. This is the first time they're giving -- giving this technology a go. We're basically just going to circle the San Francisco Bay area. I'm thinking I'm going to maybe shop for a new pair of shoes, read the newspaper, maybe even watch a football game that's going on this beautiful Saturday. Let's go find our seat and test it out. [ Music ] I'm here with David Cush, the CEO of Virgin America, and we are -- have just been given the go ahead to try out this new wifi. How excited are you right now? >> I'm very excited, you know, this is really going to change the way people travel, in the past you've been locked in this cocoon away from everyone and now the great thing is you'll be able to communicate with people when you want to. For the first 20 or 30 minutes it will be e-mail so they can act like they were working and then for the next five hours it will be whatever they do at home in their living room or in their study. >> Hi, Tina. >> Yes, I am in the air. >> We're actually flying along the coast here. We're within a series of cell towers on the ground just like when you're driving around in your car and the signal from those cell towers is coming up to the airplane. Inside the airplane we have a good old wifi hot spot, just like you'd have on the ground. >> Okay. Got my code let's figure out how this works. >> Hey look at this, where can I get the CNETTV? >> I know that girl. I'm not really sure what my favorite part of all this is yet, I sort have been enjoying the shoe shopping, truly. I also like the fact that I'm able to catch the football game that I missed because I had to get myself to the airport and then, of course, there is the e-mailing. I'm in my g-mail account right now and I have so many e-mails to catch up on. On a long six-hour flight, there's no better time. >> Check it out. Wait, wait, for it to load. >> It's not super, super fast but it's pretty good, I mean, you were able to look at a streaming video, you were loading graphics, intensive, a lot of heavy size pictures. It worked pretty well. And you can e-mail, you can text, you can IM and you can do anything that keeps you in some form of communication. >> The flight is over and we made it. Virgin America says they expect to have this gogo service in all of their planes by about the middle of 2009 but it doesn't come cheap. For a flight that's three hours or more, $12.95, three hours or under, $9.95. But, hey, small price to pay to do some online shopping at 35000 feet. At the San Francisco Airport, Cara Suboy, CNET.com. >> I like it, you Americans have got it pretty good. Never mind wifi some of the budget airlines I've been on won't even let you onboard unless you've got exact change. >> That's enough for this week. Don't forget to tune in for our Christmas special coming up in the very near future. I'm Rory Reed thanks for watching.