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A shopping list on steroids

The handheld SmartShopper unit records, organizes, and prints your grocery and errand lists to keep your pantry stocked and your head clear.

For years, I've tried unsuccessfully to persuade my family that it's in their best interest to write foods down on the shopping list. They simply aren't interested, they can't find a pen, there is no paper, or they just don't want to. So every week, I find myself starting from scratch, writing, and rewriting.

No more last minute trips to pick up milk! SmartShopper

The SmartShopper sounds like a good solution. It's a voice-activated "shopping assistant" that uses voice recognition software to track groceries and errands.

The interface seems simple enough: hit "record" and say, "apples," or whatever you've just finished eating and need to replace. The unit stores the list alphabetically on the LCD so you can quickly review items.

You can also record errands--just say, "Bank" or wherever else you need to go. If the SmartShopper doesn't understand or recognize your entry, you can add your own information to the master library.

Since an alphabetical list wouldn't be too helpful in the store, when you hit print, you'll get a categorized list--deli, produce, frozen foods, and so on--with errands at the top of the list. The list prints on thermal paper, so you don't need to buy ink, and you can get a three-pack of replacement rolls for about $8.

The SmartShopper is magnetic, so you can stick it on your fridge or mount it to a wall. It runs on four AA batteries and currently costs about $100.