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Waitrose to trial home scanning for online purchase

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Waitrose will next year trial home scanning in the UK for online purchase, in a move it believes to be a UK first.

The supermarket is working in partnership with US start-up Hiku to use its scanning solution in a trial starting early next year. Customers will be able to add items to their basket either by scanning product barcodes or saying a product name into the palm-sized device, which has voice-to-text recognition and can attach to a fridge for ease of use.

“Items can be added as they are taken out of the fridge,” said Waitrose in a statement, “or customers can speak ingredients from recipes as they plan their dinner. If customers prefer to add items on the go when out of the home, an app on their phone also allows them to update their order.”

Waitrose employees (known as Partners) and customer focus groups will be testing the Hiku device this month, with an in-home trial planned for early 2015.

The Hiku trial has come out of a new Waitrose Hot Ideas programme which puts the emphasis on innovation and aims to involve customers early on in product development to gain feedback and to hone the idea.

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