tech

No checkout needed: Amazon opens cashier-less grocery store in Seattle

13 Comments
By JOSEPH PISANI

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Hope if you change your mind that you can put an item back on the shelf and not be charged.

But if you put it back on the wrong shelf, will you get the correct refund?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And for those without a smartphone, you are not welcome.

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At the new store, which opened Tuesday in Amazon's hometown of Seattle, shoppers scan a smartphone app to enter the store. Cameras and sensors track what's taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after leaving.

this should of been done a long time ago. with robotic picking in the warehouse and store automation, the day of the warehouseman and cashier are numbered. Store workers will lean new skills like mechanics and programming.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So.....

I have long been a believer in capitalism. It's not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but it has built wealth and lifted millions / billions out of poverty.

Don't get me wrong, there are huge wealth disparities, but then again, those have existed throughout human history.

However, as I read this article, I fear for the future of our society. Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that one can well imagine a future society where very little human capital is required to make goods and provide services.

And, in such a society, what are the implications for large segments of the population? Despite the proverbial "learn to code" retort of many proponents of this progress, the reality is that there will never be enough of those jobs to employ all of those displaced.

Are we destined for a future society where a privileged class have the jobs and the wealth and the rest of society are destined to be on the outside looking in?

These are the societal and ethical questions that I ponder when I read articles like this.

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For sure, shopping will slowly move towards automatization. I like the Uniqlo's self check out, you just put the basket over the sensor, then pay with your credit card (or smartphone). However, somehow many people have serious problems doing this very simple operation, and clog the line by endlessly requesting help from the store assistants.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is it like a hotel mini-bar, where you get charged for items that you removed but can't put back?

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"These are the societal and ethical questions that I ponder when I read articles like this."

A reduced workweek and universal basic income coupled with universal access to tertiary education for those who are qualified would be part of the solution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I want to deal with a real live human. I do not trust these machines, makes me nervous!

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JonathonJo:

But if you put it back on the wrong shelf, will you get the correct refund?

I foresee an Indian Jones moment - a shopper carefully eyeing the weight between the item he wants and a bag of sand, adjusting the bag as needed, and then grabbing the item and putting the bag of sand in its place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What about those without a (internet-connected) phone? Vending machine stores work and no phone is required. Will there be loaner phones to use? What if this is the closest (and only) store to an amish community (those that cannot use tech due to religious and philosophical reasons)?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's like one giant express credit card-only checkout line

0 ( +0 / -0 )

juminRhee

Exactly! Though I was thinking of doing a switch to acquire a can of lobster bisque soup for the price of a can of baked beans.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JonathanJo:

Just be careful. I hear the new security system involves giant stone balls. ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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