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Smart Carts

New computers make grocery carts smarter

High-tech shopping carts are on display this week in Chicago at the supermarket industry's annual convention.

They're equipped with touch screens to guide shoppers to products. The carts also allow deli orders to be placed without standing in line. They also keep a running tally of purchases. People can use a home computer to make their shopping list. Once at the store, they can use their preferred customer card, or a key that fits on a keychain, to log into a system that will organize their trip through the aisles. IBM's "shopping buddy" has been test-marketed at Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts and is being rolled out this summer.

A competing device called Concierge, is being tested by Canadian stores in June and July.

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