As if Amazon Fresh wasn’t convenient enough, the internet retail titan now made it easier to grab some groceries on your way home. Adding to the ever-expanding usage of the word “GO” in new tech, Amazon Go is in beta in Seattle, WA, opening to the public in 2017. Check it out:
Amazon Go: The Future?
Pinch me, I’ve died and gone to nerdy hipster heaven. What’s easier than walking into a store, grabbing what you want, and just walking out? You can do that anywhere you want now, but not without getting arrested, of course. I suppose Amazon Fresh, Peapod, or Google Express would be the answer, where you order groceries on your smartphone and they magically show up at your doorstep. However, they might not be as convenient when you need to grab a quick bite on your lunch break or want to impress someone with how tech-savvy you are.
Yes, this Amazon Go brick and mortar store is an experiment at this point. Hopefully, the system of cameras and sensors tracking your every movement actually do their job. If they do, we may get more of these stores in other tech-forward cities like Austin, San Francisco, or my hometown of Boston.
The Future of Mobile Payments
Mobile payments are still pretty hot. I’m confident either Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay are on your device right now. The mandate in the US to switch to chip cards means that most point of sales systems now support NFC payments as well. Google introduced Hands Free, where you just walk up to a register and say you want to pay with Google. PayPal Here is a similar system as well. Amazon Go takes all this payment tech to the next level and eliminates the point of sale entirely. No lines, no waiting. Many stores aren’t in a position where they can progress to this sort of technology due to the many challenges that it may bring, and they also may not even have a desire to do away with the personal element that is intrinsic to POS. This means that there is still very much a place for a POS system in the world of retail.
As with any new innovation, there will always be detractors. In fact, the New York Post has warned that it’s “The End of Jobs”. I’m not so sure. Yes, cashier jobs are at risk. However, this is yet another perfect illustration of automation and innovation opening up new opportunities for people in the work force. Instead of the mind-numbing work of scanning countless water bottles and sandwiches, those jobs can be appropriated to other aspects of the changing retail space.
I am conducting my own personal experiment. I don’t carry a wallet anymore – at all! I solely rely on mobile orders and Samsung Pay. So far, it’s been surprisingly successful, and my GS7 Edge’s battery is holding up. So, what do you geeks think? Is Amazon Go the way to go, or will robots take our jobs? Sound off in the comments!