WPXI in Pittsburgh has a story about the implementation of a portable barcode scanning application in Giant Eagle grocery stores in the Pittsburgh area. You can pick up a scanner when you enter the store, scan each of your items, and the device keeps a running total of how much the order is going to cost. Be sure to watch the video
The "Personal Shopper System" allows the user to speed through checkout. It appears that the same or at least a similar system has been installed in a Camp Hill, Pennsylvania Giant store, and features Symbol kiosks as well as the hand-held barcode scanners. Basically, the idea is to let the customer do the work of pricing produce and other products usually priced at the checkout counter by generating a barcode at the point where the customer puts the products in the cart.
We see this as a really good idea, although there's no explaination of how the store keeps track of the customer scanning only 1 item and having more than 1, or not scanning items at all.