Luis de Matos of the Department of Informatics at the University of Beira Interior is working on a Kinect hack that could be commonplace within the next few years, whether the resulting product actually uses Kinect-like technology or not. Like most great ideas, de Matos’ Wi-GO project is simple – a shopping cart that automatically follows its user.
The Wi-GO shopping cart is designed to make it easier for the disabled, elderly as well as pregnant women to be able to shop independently, i.e. without the aid of other people. It tags a person to follow around, maintaining just the right distance to avoid bumping into the user but still within arm’s reach. I guess that’s a huge part of being disabled – it’s not that the difficulty of the task itself but the thought of being dependent or helpless that hurts. Watch the video to see the hack in action (the good part starts around 1:20).
I’m sure this technology will take off because of the convenience it offers not just for those with special needs but to the rest of us lazy shoppers as well. I just hope it doesn’t get twisted derivatives, like I don’t know, automatic baby strollers.
[via Hack A Day]