Talking trolleys may be coming to a supermarket near you in a bid to help the elderly and visually impaired with their shopping.
This scaled down prototype has been designed by Ben Charles, a 22-year-old computer-aided product design graduate from The University of Portsmouth.
A device is attached to the trolley’s handle and when a shopper scans a product, it displays product information and prices in large type as the price is said aloud. Audible warnings are transmitted if a product contains common allergies, including nuts.
It might sound like something conceived in a Jetsons or Buck Rogers future, but Charles is now looking for a supermarket to buy the product.
The device features an adjustable tilting screen and three large buttons embossed with braille for displaying price and product information, triggering a quiet alarm at customer services desks if assistance is required, while calculating a running total of cost.
Charles says, ‘I started designing things when I was six at my grandmother’s house. She was having trouble opening her gate, so I came up with a pulley system to make it easier; she still uses it.’