Generally, walking into a grocery store, grabbing what you want, and walking out without checking out is a little thing polite society likes to call "shoplifting," but Amazon has eliminated the checkout line without introducing the criminality via Amazon Go, a brick-and-mortar store currently in beta. The lowdown:
- How it works: You walk in, scan the Amazon Go app on your phone, you grab what you want, and you walk out. Big Brother tallies your purchases, charges your Amazon account, and emails you a receipt.
- What's in it for you: Convenience. Yes, Bezos and Co. have felt the panic of those among us who desperately scan the checkout lines for the shortest one.
- What's in it for Amazon: Another chit toward world domination. But more interestingly/importantly, Amazon Go provides another, deeper window into your soul, dear consumer. As the Verge notes, "By looking at your movements in the store as you shop, Amazon could analyze items you may have noticed or were potentially interested in buying (i.e., picking something up off a shelf and putting it back down.)"
- Take me there now: The store is in beta in Seattle for Amazon employees only; it'll open to the general public early next year. For the rest of us, "the technology is something a traditional grocer would never be able to fund themselves," an expert tells AdAge. "This is Amazon taking advantage of their other R&D programs, their willingness to experiment at scale." In short, wait a decade before you expect to see the same concept on a corner near you.
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