Most of the time, technology is very beneficial, especially when it saves you time (online shopping vs. hours at the mall), energy (the Roomba vs. the push-it-yourself vacuum), and money (digital cameras vs. spending tons of money on film and photo processing).
However, there are times when technology is a royal pain in the aisle, which is what I think of the new "intelligent" trolleys (or shopping carts, for people outside of the United Kingdom) in London that warn people when they're selecting too much junk food. Check out the Reuters' story: "High tech shop trolleys could help watch waistlines."
According to the article:
...the high-tech model will be fitted with a computer screen and barcode scanner. It will read each product's individual code to give customers information about calories, nutrition, ethical sourcing and the environment.
Sion Roberts, director of consumer industries and retail at U.S. technology services company EDS, claims, "Shoppers want barcode readers on their trolleys to calculate the nutritional content and tell them when they have blown their calorific budget."
Personally, that's the last thing I'd want while I'm shopping. As if my own conscience isn't loud or annoying enough! In fact, a lot of married couples end in divorce because communication like this.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.