Going grocery shopping is extremely fun no matter how old you are. Having the pleasure of strolling through aisles for hours, throwing everything you don’t need in your cart.. You can surely go a while before getting frustrated.
However, where do we draw that frustration line?
——————–CHECK OUT LINES——————–(<– right about here)
Waiting for that person in front of us to decide if they really need that “something”; or even when the “10 items or less” line is unavailable and you have to stand behind the person with 20+ items in their cart.
We have a 4-year-work-in-progress solution for you, brought to you by Amazon, that will change your entire grocery shopping experience… ~forever.
Imagine a world where cars could drive on their own…
Wait, what? That exists? Okay, let us try again.
Imagine a world where you could print physical objects…
Sigh, this is getting annoying. Since everything we are trying to imagine seems to already exist, go ahead and imagine a grocery store where you could walk in, grab your items, and walk out.
You. Heard. Right.
Introducing Amazon Go, “a new kind of store with no checkout required”. We understand you might have a bit skeptical right now, so we’ll try to address your main doubts before you even ask.
1) How do you enter?
You first have to download the new Amazon Go app, with which while entering the Amazon Go grocery store, you’re required to show your unique identity on some sort of scanner. This recognizes you as a customer, and the rest of the process is even simpler.
2) What’s next?
Literally couldn’t be easier. We don’t expect a super store, but we do expect there to be a large variety of items offered in Amazon Go. Walk up to anything you want, (here’s the tough part, bear with us) grab it, and go (phew, that was hard!).
3) How do we pay?
Amazon claims that they’ve made this experience possible with the same type of tech used in self driving cars, computer vision, and deep learning. Everything you exit the store with is automatically added to your Amazon Go app where you’ll be charged through your Amazon account and a receipt will be sent to you.
4) How does it know what I have?
If there was one doubt we had too, it was most certainly this. If you watch Amazon’s Amazon Go video, you’ll see that the technology is so advanced that the second you grab something from a shelf, the app immediately knows you have it.
Now.. the magical part about all this, is that say you grab a protein bar (since we’re sure all of you are keeping up with your new year resolutions), Amazon Go will track it right away, right? However, what happens if you keep that item back? Good news! Amazon Go knows that too and will delete the item from your cart almost instantly. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GRAB IT AGAIN?
Come on, you know the answer to that.
5) I still don’t understand how Amazon knows when I grab a product..
Yeah, we’re a little iffy too. They haven’t stated anything specific regarding this, but there are a few lines that explain that a customer’s photo will be taken when entering the store, removing/keeping products on and off a shelf, and when they leave. There will also be an addition of “facial recognition” using user biometrics and their physical features for easier recognition. Along with the integration of AI, sensor recognition and whatnot, we are seeing some pretty advanced technology being used in Amazon Go.
6) How long will it be till people complain about the invasion of privacy with these constant (supposed) photos, facial recognitions, etc? Where is all of this information stored? What if it’s leaked?
Not that it matters if someone hacks into Amazon servers and busts you shopping for apples at an Amazon Go location… but we do know that many people get really anxious when it comes to their privacy. This is one question we can’t answer. Sorry.
Another fun thing to watch will be how Amazon handles shop lifters (if it even is possible)…
7) Where are these stores located?
Amazon Go is currently only open to Amazon employees “in their Beta program”, but plan on opening to the public in the coming months.
Not sure about you, but we can’t wait to go grocery shopping.