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QThru puts a new spin on the self-checkout kiosks at grocery stores and today the Seattle startup launched its mobile app.

Available on both iOS and Android, the app is a mobile shopping platform that is intended to make in-store shopping more convenient by allowing people to shop, scan, get deals, and then checkout with a smartphone app.

We wrote about QThru back in July when the company landed $3.5 million from undisclosed angel investors. Here’s the basic idea (video above shows this as well).

Customers download the app and preload their credit card information. They then add items to their shopping cart, scanning a bar code each time they pick out an item. After they complete the shopping trip, they check out by entering a passcode and scanning a QR code at a kiosk machine. A receipt is generated from the kiosk, and a supermarket employee checks it to make sure items match before sending the shopper on his or her way.

“Many brick and mortar retailers are recognizing their customers want a fast and easy shopping experience that makes them feel valued,” Aaron Roberts, founder and CEO of QThru, said in a press release. “With QThru shoppers are empowered to select and purchase items in-store, right from their smartphones – further strengthening their allegiance to retailers.”

The checkout terminal at The Ridge Supermarket

QThru completed a successful beta test at the Ridge IGA Supermarket in Snoqualmie and is now planning to bring the service to 14 grocery and retail stores in the Seattle area by the end of March 2013.

Roberts, who was previously a senior software development manager with RIM, said he came up with the idea a few years ago while standing in line to buy a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner.

“There was a line for the pumpkin pies, and there was a line to checkout,” recalled Roberts. “While I was waiting I said: ‘Gosh, this process doesn’t need to be this painful.’ It seemed like a no-brainer to me.”

After spending some time buying jeans with my Android phone, I wonder if one day we’ll use our smartphones to buy, well, everything.

Previously on GeekWire: Amazon vet’s new robot-powered apparel startup aims to revolutionize how we buy clothes

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