A GPS navigation-based system is expected to revolutionise advertising, for it can publicise products directly to supermarket trolleys based on a shopper's in-store behaviour and purchasing history.
Media Cart trolleys can alert the store's database when a shopper moves into a particular area, triggering an appropriate ad.
Small screens on trolleys, where product messages are beamed, are all set to undergo live supermarket tests in November.
Media Cart has signed a deal with researcher TNS to analyse the data from the 50 to 100 trolleys that will operate in the Doonside, NSW and Hawker, ACT Super IGA stores.
Examples of how the system will operate, as given in a report, suggest that a mil ad can be beamed to the screen as a trolley moves into the store's chilled dairy area.
And as soon as a product is put through the trolley's self scanner, an ad for a rival product can be served up.
The system is also capable of reading and delivering shopping lists to the trolley by inserting a loyalty card, which will also tell the customer in which order to shop in the aisles.
Media Cart managing director Brian Paterson says that, on average, customers may expect about eight minutes of ads during a 25-minute shop.
He says that each ad will of no more than 10 seconds long.
According to him, US trials have shown that the novel system can increase participating stores' sales by 10 per cent, and sales of featured products by 30-40 per cent.
"There is no other media that can show an ad to a shopper and then record if they buy that product," the Age quoted Paterson as saying.
Media Cart hopes to roll out the system midway through the trial, and it has held talks with Coles and Woolworths for the purpose.
However, they are holding back until they see the results of the trial, Paterson has revealed.