Shortcut of the Future: Grocery Shopping
Hewlett-Packard developed an in-store kiosk called the Retail Store Assistant, or RSA.
Here's how it works:
Enter your phone number or swipe a club card at the kiosk in the supermarket, and the shopping list that you entered online at home pops up on a screen. The RSA matches all your items—cereal, frozen pizza, paper towels—with any available retailer's discounts. Then it prints out the list and a map of the supermarket with the exact location of every item (no more randomly trolling the aisles!).
The RSA also spares you from shuffling through an envelope of coupons by adding a single bar code that contains every offer, to be deducted at one swipe during checkout. And tech-savvy customers who don't want to deal with a paper list can have it downloaded to their cell phones.
Hewlett-Packard is currently in talks with potential business partners. Until that magical day, says Phil Lempert, the self-described "supermarket guru," whittle time by "shopping before 8 A.M. or after 9 P.M., and avoiding Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays entirely."