If you are human, you have undoubtedly thought at some point in your life, “Why can’t we just take our groceries from the shelves and leave? Why do we have to go through checkout lines even if we’re just buying a loaf of bread?” Checkout lines are an established enemy of the general public; they are long and stressful, and, frankly, they have the ability to make anyone tempted to put all of their groceries back and come back later. Life would be so much easier if we could just skip those pesky lines; however, thanks to Amazon’s latest project, we might be able to do just that next year.
Amazon just announced the development of its new store, Amazon Go. If consumers download the Amazon Go app and scan it when they enter the store, they can take any product they would like off the shelves and walk out with it. The company’s advanced technology will detect and record when products are taken off of or put back onto the shelves; each item is then added to the consumer’s digital shopping cart. When the consumer leaves the store, their Amazon.com account is charged. No lines, no rude cashiers, no credit card mishaps.
The store will feature basic pre-made grocery store staples like premade sandwiches, salads, fruits, vegetables, condiments, beverages, desserts, and more. The company has described the ideas behind the groundbreaking invention as, “computer vision…deep learning algorithms…sensor fusion…just walk out technology.” There is currently a trial Amazon Go store running in Seattle where only Amazon employees are allowed to shop. If all goes well with the trial stores, Amazon has said that it will open stores to the public early 2017.
The public has had mixed reactions to Amazon’s announcement. Many people are thrilled about what this means for technology and are already pondering all the benefits that can be reaped from such an innovative creation. GQ.com has said, “While this is currently only set up for grocery store situations—Amazon has a lot of data and a lot of vision, and this could be just the tip of the iceberg, should this perform well.” However, not everyone is thrilled about what Amazon Go means for technology; instead, they are worried about what this could do to current grocery store employees. When writing about the new invention, TheNextWeb.com said, “But we should also dampen our enthusiasm with the knowledge that this technology has the potential to put thousands of people out of work. Yes, on a technological level, it’s rather cool. But there’s a human consequence to advancements like this.”
What do you think of Amazon’s latest creation? Is this groundbreaking technological advancement worth putting hundreds of people out of work? While we may still have a while before we can actually experience Amazon Go ourselves, one thing is for certain: we will not have to wait in line.