Froogloid is developing an application for the Android Mobile operating system that will use the phone's camera to scan the bar codes on those little retail club cards. This creates a nifty database on your device so you can pull up any barcode for a checkout scan without need of plastic keyring doo-dads.
If you're anything like me, you probably just peed yourself a little at hearing this awesome news. But allow me throw a stick in your spokes for a moment while I propose this scenario:
You're at Stop & Shop. You've got your Crystal Pepsi, a box of fruit Roll-Ups, and your Android mobile, and you're ready to cruise through the check-out like a cyborg from the year 2014, unfettered by 20th century discount technology.
You reach the cashier, whose bottom lip hangs lower than his name tag.
"D'yu hav a Stoppnshop card?" he asks using only his upper lip.
"Why yes, yes I do!" you reply, pulling out your phone. You gracefully scroll down to your Stop & Shop bar code and show the screen to the cashier.
"D'yu hav a Sttttopp...Stoppnshop card?" he asks, unmoved by your cybernetic powers.
"Yes. You see, this is my Stop N' Shop card," you respond. "I've scanned it into my phone so I don't have to carry those little cards on my key ring anymore."
The cashier looks at you blankly as his head explodes.
Now, while I credit the developers of this app with deserved genius, I fear the execution may be akin to setting up a Linux home server for Grandma so she can digitize her Lawrence Welk records.
You are trying to streamline a system that was built to be cumbersome, redundant, and deceptive. If everything at Stop & Shop was just marked the price that it is, there would be no need for cluttered key rings, and thus no need for a slick digital solution.
Sadly, I fear this app may cost you more time explaining it to luddites than it saves in streamlining your life.
Still, I'll probably download it, since I enjoy being technologically obtuse, and pretending I'm a grocery shopping cyborg.