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You Could Pay This Surprising New Way At the Grocery Store Soon

Prepare for the frozen and refrigerated sections to look different...

In addition to prepackaged produce, wider aisles, and maybe even your favorite restaurant inside the grocery store, new technology could make the frozen and refrigerated section of your local supermarket could look a lot different thanks to smart fridges.

Byte Technology, a brand specializing in food kiosks that was launched in 2012, recently added a new feature to their smart fridges. The device keeps food and drinks cold and requires the swipe of a credit card to open the door. Once the customer has done so, the fridge knows exactly what is taken out. If nothing was, the customer isn't changed. Think of it as a hotel mini-fridge!

Related: The Single Worst Grocery Store Mistake You Shouldn't Make During Reopening

The brand new feature allows the fridge operator to change an item's price in the smart fridges' system quickly, for example, if there is a special deal or if the item is about to expire it can be made cheaper, according to The Spoon. This also helps reduce food waste.

This contactless form of food shopping is already set up in some offices, hospitals, hotels, and university campuses. But because the machine allows for a contactless transaction, it could make its way to grocery stores soon. Many are already using smart machines and robots to make salads at the salad bar (the utensils there aren't super sanitary). The concept is similar to Amazon Go stores. These are self-serving markets that use technology to determine which products are picked up from shelves. Then it automatically charges your Amazon account when you leave.

This new way of grocery shopping could drastically reduce the human-to-human interaction while in the store, something that Walmart is already thinking about. The brand is considering replacing traditional checkout lanes now outfitted with masked employees and plexiglass, with self-checkout stations. They are currently testing this strategy at a store in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Good news! Your ultimate supermarket survival guide is here!

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda