smart trolley

A tech company has developed a new “smart trolley” device it claims will enable retailers to cut queue times and reduce trolley theft.

Developers Cambridge Consultants have created a tiny sensor that sits inside trolley wheels and uses Bluetooth technology to track customer locations so that stores can open more tills as shoppers approach checkouts. The device is accurate to within one metre - previously, such devices were accurate to three to five metres.

“One major benefit of this system over other systems - many of which need an app on the consumer’s smartphone - is that there is no personal information relayed to the retailers,” said smart trolley developer Cambridge Consultants’ commercial director Dipak Raval.

However, when paired with other connected devices - such as mobiles or trolley ­touchscreens - the wheel sensor could be used to ping tailored alerts to shoppers. It could also help generate efficient store routes based on shopping lists.

A number of retailers are now in talks with the developers, who are aiming to start trials in stores later this year.