Product scanner lets users restock their fridge without leaving the house
hiku is hoping to make it easier to create digital shopping lists that can be shared between devices and used to buy online.
When it comes to making a shopping list, the usual procedure is to write down what's needed on a scrap of paper that can be illegible at times. Add to that the feeling you get when you arrive back from the shop and realize you didn't pick up a key item, then you end up thinking that shopping could be a bit more organized. In the recent past, we've seen innovations such as Popcart let home cooks create online orders based on recipe ingredient lists from the web. Now an app and product scanner kit called hiku is hoping to make it easier to create digital shopping lists that can be shared between devices and used to buy online.
hiku consists of two parts — the scanner and the iOS app. The scanner is a small device that can be used to scan the barcodes of items in the kitchen to add them to a shopping list. Alternatively, users can use its voice recognition technology to dictate the shopping list out loud. When they're done, the app creates a digital list which shoppers can use while they're at the supermarket, simply swiping items once they're in the basket to check them off. Each list can be shared with other people or devices. If users get to the store and an item is out of stock, they will soon be able to simply order it online through the app. hiku is working with Waitrose in the UK to make that a possibility.
Given the voice recognition and scanning capabilities of the iPhone itself, it's unclear if the extra device is really necessary, although those still getting to grips with a smartphone may find it easier to use. Either way, hiku is currently still in beta. Are there other ways to make the connection between brick and mortar shopping and buying online a more seamless one?
4th November 2014