Amazon. I’m sure almost everybody will agree that it is brilliant. For almost everything. No longer is it just an online shop for books; now you can buy almost anything, and REALLY quickly. Next-day delivery of a birthday present you forgot? Yep, no problem. And if you live in a city, you can get many items delivered to your door within just an hour or two using Amazon Prime. Add to this the video streaming services offered and it isn’t hard to see how Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos’ wealth is now well above Bill Gates’ 1999 peak.
The founder of the online giant has an estimated net worth of over $105 BILLION. Which is insane. But possibly more insane is the fact that the business is still growing and having new ideas as they creep their way off the internet and into the ‘real world’. In 2015, Amazon opened real-life book stores in Seattle that you can actually walk around rather than clicking through web pages, and they later bought the Whole Foods company and its’ stores.
Now they’ve even opened their own SUPERMARKET. Yep, if you lived in Seattle then from this week you would be able to go and buy your groceries from the Amazon Go store. If you did though, you would find something a little bit different about the shopping experience to that of any other shop you have ever been to for bread and milk! For a start, you wouldn’t be able to get in without a QR code on your smart phone, generated by the Amazon Go app, as the store is gated.
Once inside, you will be instantly being watched by a very sophisticated system of cameras and AI that will follow you around the store, watching your every move. Why? Well this supermarket has no checkouts. Not even self-service ones. Instead, the technology-filled store detects which products are being picked up by which customers and automatically adds them to an online, virtual shopping basket as you go. When you leave, your online Amazon account is automatically charged for the products you have taken, without you having to do anything else.
Amazon are calling this ‘Just Walk Out’ shopping, and I am interested to see how successful it is and whether it will catch on.
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