Could smart shopping trolleys with GPS tracking become reality?

Smart shopping trolleys with GPS tracking and that unlock with a QR code instead of a coin could be the way forward for Aussie supermarkets and shoppers.

The technology, called sMart Lock trolley, could prevent shoppers from taking trolleys outside of shopping precincts and reduce instances of trolley dumping, which costs councils and retailers thousands in fines each year.

This latest invention is set to revolutionise the way customers and retailers use shopping trolleys. It would allow shoppers to unlock their trolley using a QR code via the sMart Shop App, by which a $2 deposit will be made to unlock the trolley. Shoppers would then be refunded their money once the trolley is turned and relocked.

All sMart Lock trolleys can also report their GPS location to the retailer or trolley collectors’ mobile app and provide turn-by-turn navigation to give users continuous directions for a selected route to bring their trolley back to an approved drop-off location.

Founder of Trolley Data Management Network (TDMN), the company behind sMart Lock trolleys, Domenic Ammendolia said the GPS technology was successfully trialled at the Harris Farm Markets in Manly, Sydney, and will soon be rolled out to other stores.

“The store manager (at Manly) was blown away at how accurate we were able to track trolleys that were offsite and how fast and easy it was for their team members to retrieve them,” he said.

He said the concept for sMart Lock trolleys came about with the realisation that most shoppers often pay for things with a card or a smartphone and don’t always carry coins to unlock trolleys.

“I thought ‘why can I pay for groceries with Apple Pay, everybody’s using credit cards, others use Google Pay, but I need a coin for the trolley?’

“We can save retailers and local councils money by adopting this system, and a little bit of the onus is put back on the user. So many people are concerned about the environment and environmental damage and property and personal damage caused by trolleys.”

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