If you’re tired of standing in line at the grocery store then Amazon has some good news for you.
Unveiled just this week, Amazon’s latest project, Amazon Go, is preparing to create ‘Just Walk Out Shopping’ for customers. By using the Amazon app on a smartphone, customers in Amazon Go grocery stores will be able to scan their app on the way into the store and proceed to shop as normal. Once they’ve found all their items, the customer can simply leave the store when they’re finished shopping (without checking out a thing). Any items taken from the store will be added to a receipt in the users Amazon app and charged to their account. If you ask us, this sounds like an recipe for spending way, way, way too much on groceries.
The first Amazon Go store is already running beta mode in Seattle, the hometown of Amazon, though only Amazon employees are allowed to access the store. The first publicly available Amazon Go store is set to launch sometime in 2017, though no locations have been announced.
As refreshing as a life with fewer lines sounds, the proposed futuristic shopping experience does present some concerns. Amazon is vague on what the terms ‘computer vision’ and ‘sensor fusion’ really mean and don’t specify how things like fruits and vegetables will be weighed and priced. An Amazon Go app is required to enter the store, meaning the non-tech savvy customer or the customer who can’t afford a smart phone will have to find their groceries elsewhere. Most importantly, what happens to the hundreds of thousands of people whose main source of income is derived from jobs as cashiers and grocery baggers?
While the Amazon Go store does sound like an exciting prospect for busy shoppers, we’re hoping a more inclusive option that combines a traditional grocery store with new technology will also be made available.