Supermarket trolley 'of the future' leaves shoppers divided

A video showcasing Amazon's smart supermarket trolley technology has gone viral, amassing nearly six million views in just a few days.

The video, captioned "The future of shopping has arrived" and posted to Twitter, shows a woman walking through an Amazon Fresh supermarket, scanning items for checkout by simply placing them in her trolley.

The woman then begins testing the new "Dash Cart" checkout tech by throwing items into the trolley and taking them back out again, with the scanner never missing a beat and updating the total price accordingly.

Amazon's smart supermarket trolley technology
Amazon's new smart supermarket trolley has set tongues wagging online. Source: Twitter

As the woman finishes her shop, an attendant waiting near the exit approaches and the trolley display changes to a green "You're all set" screen, showing the full cost of the groceries.

The woman then taps to confirm the total and proceeds to leave the supermarket.

According to Amazon's website, payment is completed automatically as shoppers exit the store.

New tech divides opinion

Many shoppers seem very impressed by the new technology, with the video being retweeted nearly 25,000 times and receiving more than 90,000 likes.

However comments on the tweet were more divided, as people lament the trend towards a lack of human interaction and the potential for automation to put low-skilled workers out of jobs.

"Less and less human interactions and people wonder why society is getting more and more depressed," commented one user.

"More jobs lost to time and technology," someone else wrote.

Another user failed to see any benefit to the new tech at all, calling it "useless technology".

Others were quick to disagree though, highlighting how much time the smart trolleys would save busy shoppers.

"Yeah sure. Being able to simply take my bags out of the cart and leave the store without having to bother with the hassle of a checkout line is quite useless," one user replied sarcastically.

"This was badly needed in retail stores," commented another user. "This voids queuing... Reduces waiting time and frustration."

Others voiced concerns that the technology will enable retailers to store customer data including product selections for marketing purposes.

"Think this is more about Amazon knowing what you buy, when you shop and how much you buy. Allowing targeted advertising to help you spend more money!" commented one Twitter user.

When will smart trolleys come to Australia?

Although smart trolleys are available in some supermarket chains in Europe and North America, it's not clear when the tech will reach Australia, with no announcements from major supermarkets to date.

Woolworths' Scan&Go technology is similar, but it requires shoppers to manually scan each product with the Woolworths app on their phones, and has only been rolled out to 69 locations around Australia.

Customers have noted that in stores where Scan&Go is available, however, some trolleys have a phone holder, making the experience almost as seamless as Amazon's offering.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a Coles spokesperson said the retailer is always looking at ways to enhance the in-store customer experience.

"In the past two years Coles has seen customer demand for self-checkout technologies accelerate," the spokesperson said.

Woolworths Scan&Go supermarket checkout
Australia's answer to Amazon's Dash Cart, Woolworths Scan&Go technology can still shave time off your supermarket shop by leveraging smartphones and dedicated checkouts. Source: Woolworths

"We are rolling out a range of new options to help customers check out more quickly, including our popular belted self-checkouts and packing benches.

"Our new technology for the service area means we can have more checkouts open, providing customers with space, less congestion, reduced queuing and frees up team members to interact with our customers, providing guidance and assistance to the level they require."

Amazon Australia and Woolworths have been approached for comment.

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