Online behemoth Amazon have revealed an introduction to their cashier-less shop, Amazon Go.
“Four years ago we started to wonder, ‘what would shopping look like if you could walk into a store, grab what you want, and just go?'” – These are the opening words in the reveal video for Amazon’s latest venture, a brick-and-mortar grocery store that’s bursting at the seams with technology thus meaning no traditional check outs. Well, I’d like to extend an invite to all those cool, bearded, thinkers over at Amazon to spend ten minutes at my local Tesco – then they can really see what happens when someone walks in, grabs what they want, and leaves.
According to the teaser, whatever item you pick up or put back, Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out Technology’ (or ‘long coat and fast legs’ over where I live) updates your virtual cart automatically. Once you’ve gotten what you desire, you just leave the shop and the Just Walk Out tech prices up what you have and charges your Amazon account.
Around the 1:27 mark on the video we see barriers in soft focus and a young lady scan her phone to be let in. What about families with kids, or small groups of people with only one of whom who has an account? I suppose this might filter out the idiot school kids with their arms hugging a huge cache of crisps and coke and they waddle, speaking in nonsensical English, to the checkout only to grunt and sniff their way through the exchange of money and goods. The cashiers at my local supermarkets may aswell be dead for all the interaction they bring to the proceedings – maybe the money they’ll save on human cashiers will all go to pay the salaries for stop and search security.
I hate old people
This could also be a great thing though because I age like that guy who drank out of the wrong cup in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when I’m forced (by space permitting) behind an old person who moves as if death isn’t actually at their doorstep. ‘Ooo, I’m just gonna nip down Waitrose, I’ll make an entire day out of it!’ You’re blocking up everything with your fannying about and wasting time by using actual money instead of contactless payment… get what you need, get the shit out of the way, and piss off…I hate old people. Luckily I doubt many elderly people will have an Amazon account.
Also, whats to stop me from entering the store, and as my wife browses the wares, kick down an entire aisle? Or if a car driven by an old person (ugh, licenses should be revoked after a certain age) ploughs through the shop front and smashes everything? Not only have you a trip to hospital, but you’re now arguing with Amazon customer support over the contents of your basket vs the million things that crashed into you before the car did.
I’m assuming that the aisles have sensors in place and when you grab something from the shelf, the sensor and proximity of your phone speak to each other and agree on what it is that you’ve selected and to whom its for. So what happens if I’m standing right next to someone, grabbing shit like the bombs are about to drop? How will the technology differentiate who’s who? Or if I scan to enter and then turn off my phone immediately, what happens then?