Have you heard of QThru? If not, welcome to the club - before tonight, I didn't even know it existed. Basically, it's a cool take on self-checkouts at brick-and-mortar stores. The idea is simple: carry your phone around, scanning barcodes of the stuff you intend on buying. Once you're finished, head over to the QThru kiosk and use it to scan the QR on your phone, essentially closing the transaction. All of your credit card info is stored within the QThru app on your device, so once you've scanned the QR, you're done. A worker at participating retailers would likely be hanging around to compare the cart's contents to the receipt, just to make sure you're not up to no good. Not like you - our esteemed reader - would do such a thing, anyway.

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QThru is just starting to make its way into the U.S. now, and should be available in roughly 14 grocery and hardware stores in the Seattle, WA area by the end of January according to this report from The Next Web. From there, the service will likely continue to branch out, focusing mostly on smaller stores.

The good news here, though, is that if you're in an area where QThru will be available, you won't have to wait for an Android app. With the QThru app, you can keep a list of your favorite items, view in-store specials, get product details (including nutritional information), keep a watch on the total, and more.

For more info on QThru and its service, head here; to grab the app, hit the widget below.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Chris Webster

    Ironic, Google bought a self-checkout app when they themselves have no idea how to perform a transaction without f@#ing up everything

    #WhereIsMyNexus http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=35081949#post35081949

  • LiamBryant

    The UI looks horrendous, it looks like the developers forgot that they weren't developing for iOS

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      Normally, I don't hate on apps that have some similarities to iOS, but this one is pretty a straight copy of some interface elements. It's also scaled to an almost comically large size for the screen.

      There is another thing that jumps out at me. In some circles, it's commonly accepted that screenshots of apps should NEVER show the battery as being nearly dead, it's almost always a sign that the app is written poorly and might not be that safe. It's also kind of a bad practice to do product screenshots with the ADB icon (the jellybean on the left side next to the USB icon) and a dead cellular signal. I would have also gotten rid of the vibrate icon, but that is mostly the perfectionist side coming out.

  • Tito!

    Weird. I was just thinking of this concept while at work the other day.

    If I was a business owner, i definitely would like to set myself by means of different (mobile) payment systems.

    • John O’Connor

      I have been scouring developmental ideas to get something like this off the ground for some time. The next thing would be tying this up to back end inventory systems, pricing, "club card" deals, etc to multiple locations. You could create your shopping list of items you actually want before leaving home (or from work) that would tie in to google's traffic, maps, navigation and layout and quick and efficient shopping trip that would get you the best bang from your buck and also allow you to not have to go "one more place" because an item was sold out

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerome.burks Jerome Burks

    Would not be walking out with the stuff, the phone though.

  • rap

    Good idea. I've been at stores where while you were in line, they prescanned your items in your cart with a handheld scanner and then at the register you just had to pay. I think it might have been Sam's club so they tied the scan to your membership card. This is the same idea except the consumer does the scanning.