What makes technology so marvelous is the multitude of tasks we can get a single piece of hardware to do. Single women (and men, we suppose) can probably find more than one use for an electric toothbrush, drivers prone to getting lost can use their phone to make calls as well as turning it into a sat-nav device, and now it seems it's not only possible gamers to raise a virtual pet on their DS, but getting the grocery shopping done in record-breaking time too. What a golden age we live in.

What happens when we can't find what we're looking for in our local supermarket? Do we soldier on and waste precious minutes looking for it ourselves, or do we give in and seek assistance from the spotty teenager in the creased uniform? If both of these options sound like a chore, you might be in luck.

A patent for a shopping application assigned to Nintendo of America has been filed and it's capable of running on handheld devices such as the Nintendo DS. Using an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) sytem, the application would help shoppers by displaying where certain items are placed via a product database. Price comparisons can also be made on products between different stores.

Utilising an in-store wireless user network, shoppers would be able to generate their own shopping lists and should an item be unavailable, the program would be configured to make substitutions with comparable products. If this patent ever makes it out of the United States Patent Application office and materialise as an actual DS application, it will be one of those occasions where users won't have to freak out if they put eggs and milk on their DS. Kitchen towels are always going to be in aisle four.

[source appft.uspto.gov]