Earlier this year, Amazon announced its Amazon Go concept. The cashier-free, and hopefully hassle-free grocery store. The news did seem to receive a disproportionate amount of public interest.
Of course we’ve all had our share of standing in queues. Queues where cashiers billed and packed at a pace, a sight that looked like it was buffering on a crappy internet connection. Given those occasions and memories of it, I’d have to agree. Amazon Go does sound like you’re being given a year or two extra on your natural lifespan.
But the concept itself, doesn’t exactly a stretch of our imaginations.
What might have been more interesting, is one of these two scenarios.
First one, if Amazon did away with most of that expensive real estate.
Imagine walking up to an Amazon Go store. The store comprises of only several telephone type booths. You pick up a heads-up display unit (similar to Google’s Cardboard; and yes, one that has been sanitized after the last customer), and get into an empty booth and put it on. A menu appears before you. You move your hand around and tap a section of wall right in front of you (not on your screen, but an actual wall). Clicking on a section makes that aisle appear on your heads-up display. Perhaps generic items, milk, cheese, chips, breakfast cereal, etc. Click or tap to pick more specific options and quantities. You confirm the order, pay wirelessly (just like in the video), and leave.
As you shop through virtual sections of the store, a robot is activated at a warehouse on the outskirts of your city. It zips through aisles at a blinding pace, picking up your order. Your stuff, delivered home, by one of their drones, at your convenient time.
Then again, heck, why even have an outlet when you can order online? I guess for those who might miss their regular trips and human interactions at the grocery store.
Or, if real estate is really a big part of their intended strategy (something it should be careful about), here’s another alternative. In this case, the store comprises of a larger warehouse, and the same booth concept mentioned above. In the adjoining warehouse, robots zip through, collecting your stuff. You spend a few moments after shopping to enjoy a coffee or try samples of an introductory snack. By this time, your designated robot has tagged, bagged and billed you. You pick up your stuff, and you are ready to Go!