SEOUL, April 17 (Korea Bizwire) — E-Mart Inc., a major discount chain operator under South Korean retail giant Shinsegae, revealed an autonomous shopping cart for a test run on Tuesday, as the company moves to secure the competitiveness of its offline distribution channels.
Dubbed eli, two of the carts will be showcased at the firm’s warehouse-style supermarket Traders in Hanam, just southeast of Seoul, for four days, the company said.
According to E-Mart, the cart automatically follows shoppers, helps them browse items and allows them to pay directly via the machine with credit cards or Shinsegae’s mobile payment application.
The cart can tell whether items in the cart have all been paid for by comparing weights of those that have been counted for payment with those put on the machine, it said.
The disclosure came less than a month after Chung Yong-jin, the vice chairman of Shinsegae Group, said the company is developing a “cart with cutting-edge technology to improve customers’ shopping experience.”
The latest development by E-Mart was led by the firm’s internal digital technology research lab “S-Lab,” which was set up in December 2014, it said.
The lab has been carrying out various experiments to bring new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, to the retail industry, the company said.