Updated: Feb 24
E-mart, a South Korean discount chain operator, has unveiled an autonomous shopping cart. This comes three months after Chinese online retailer JD.com, one of the two major e-commerce platforms in China, unveiled a smart cart at its first high-tech supermarket in Beijing. E-mart said the cart dubbed “Eli” has smart sensors that can recognise human voices and avoid obstacles, so it can follow specific customers. It can also guide shoppers to find stock items at desired aisles by displaying the locations on the cart’s liquid-crystal display screen. Payment can be made via Eli as well, simply by using Eli’s sensor to scan the barcode of a product. A customer can then tap a credit card or an app to pay. The cart can tell whether items in it have been paid for by comparing the weight of items vs their cost. After the shopping is completed, Eli is able to automatically queue at a charging-station so the cart does not need to be manually returned. Other functions include searching for a car’s location inside a parking lot and checking shopping information, such as discount coupons, the benefits of a credit card and the duration spent shopping.