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OT: Amazon Go - the no-employee store of the future?


timwat

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Geez. Next thing you know, they'll be replacing musicians at parties with little electronic boxes that automatically play whatever music people want to hear.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Geez. Next thing you know, they'll be replacing musicians at parties with little electronic boxes that automatically play whatever music people want to hear.
:w00t:

 

I think that's already happened! They call 'em DJ's :rimshot::D:D

Stan

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Dumb. Unmanned grocery stores really don't make sense, maybe in small pockets but generally not.....People want service. I was in the industry. I remember when self-check out lines came in and people were worried. They didn't need to be as sometimes they are more of a pain in the ass then they are work.Look at most of them at BJ's or Home Depot, Walmart. There is always problems with them. They greatest supermarket chain in the world is here locally that I worked for. To see them in action is something compared to a long time ago.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

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The UFCW is gonna be stoked!

 

Actually this seems inevitable. And the cultural transition won't be smooth at all. There will still have to be plenty of people working there to restock and clean the place. Not to mention security.

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Dumb. Unmanned grocery stores really don't make sense, maybe in small pockets but generally not.....People want service. I was in the industry. I remember when self-check out lines came in and people were worried. They didn't need to be as sometimes they are more of a pain in the ass then they are work.Look at most of them at BJ's or Home Depot, Walmart. There is always problems with them. They greatest supermarket chain in the world is here locally that I worked for. To see them in action is something compared to a long time ago.

 

But with this system, there are no checkout lines. As soon as you pickup an item and put it in your cart, you're charged for it. Put it back on the shelf, the charge comes off. Grab all the things you want and walk out the door. You can't get in without an Amazon Go card which will manage all this.

 

Busch.

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Variations of this have been possible for well over a decade now using RFID. In a previous job (actually more than 11 years ago), we were using it for a packaging applications to track things through warehouses and delivery. The limitation at the time for something like a grocery application was the cost to put an individual RFID tag on each item. Incidentally, they WERE using for more costly items for theft prevention - you know when the alarm goes off when you walk out the door? Looks like they're using other technologies that seem like they could be problematic and cause lots of errors.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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This sounds like a huge improvement to me, the self-scanning checkout lines are horrible, I never use that, they don't save any time at all, but this would actually save a huge amount of time and hassle, and make grocery shopping (which I tend to avoid when I can, leading to way too much take-out and processed food in my life!) way less tortuous and unappealing. It seems like a no-brainer and not technically hard at all (I wouldn't even mind if you had to scan the items on your phone as you go through the aisles, that'd be fine too). Bag the items up as I go along picking them, deduct the cost from my bank account and I'm out of here. I feel bad for the checkout people who'll lose their jobs, but I'm all in favor of societal investment in education and training that would facilitate everybody being able to get more modern jobs and in aggregate allow our country to better come up with solutions to other problems and to compete globally.

Rich Forman

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There's one thing that really worries me about some of this technology.... Now they have a record of exactly everything you buy and how often. Of course buying online is the same way. My point is that privacy is getting to be less and less, and advertising more and more invasive. They're starting to use facial recognition software to tailor ads when you're at the gas pump based on your google searches.

 

This was some of the concern with RFID that I mentioned previously - when you throw the packaging away, somebody could scan your trash to see what you had purchased. This presumably would only be available to Amazon based on the technology they are using, but who's to say they don't sell your information or get hacked. I don't need PETA coming after me for my meat purchases or Monsanto coming after me for buying non-GMO. It's bad enough that if I google a toy for my son, it shows up on every page I visit after that. Food is my last private refuge.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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There's one thing that really worries me about some of this technology.... Now they have a record of exactly everything you buy and how often. Of course buying online is the same way.

Also, grocery stores are already doing that, when they give you a card that entitles you to their sale prices, and you use that card (or more recently, your phone number) when you checkout.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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There's one thing that really worries me about some of this technology.... Now they have a record of exactly everything you buy and how often. Of course buying online is the same way.

Also, grocery stores are already doing that, when they give you a card that entitles you to their sale prices, and you use that card (or more recently, your phone number) when you checkout.

 

I don't do that.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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There's one thing that really worries me about some of this technology.... Now they have a record of exactly everything you buy and how often. Of course buying online is the same way.

Also, grocery stores are already doing that, when they give you a card that entitles you to their sale prices, and you use that card (or more recently, your phone number) when you checkout.

 

I don't do that.

Right, you have the choice, and (at least for now!) people will have the choice to not shop at an amazon-based grocery store. But experience seems to indicate that people are generally more interested in convenience and savings than they are in privacy. Really, the entire internet is a nightmare for privacy. Yet how many of us are using a VPN?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Really, the entire internet is a nightmare for privacy. Yet how many of us are using a VPN?

 

I am :wave:

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I regularly use the self-checkout at places like Home Depot and the grocery store. Mainly because I don't have too many items.

 

Eliminating jobs is easy. Creating them seems to be more difficult especially when it comes down to the bottom line.

 

Technology has been and will always be a blessing and a curse dependent upon where one sits in the food chain of life.:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Notice that all the food is processed--no organic whole produce or meat that has to be weighed.

 

Privacy is dead; cash looks to be next.

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I presume that there will be initial hiccups and Amazon will get them ironed out. After that, the only determining factor will be if the model proves more profitable (net margin, not revenue). And I believe it will.

 

The inexorable march of technology goes on, and the ship sailed a long time ago - we love to be astounded by "we can!" without really stopping to ponder whether we should.

 

And innovation will always have winners and losers. Kodak is never coming back. The world's greatest cassette manufacturers aren't either. Nor are those steam engine experts. Yes, new jobs, new industries, etc. But there will always be losers in the equation who don't find new jobs.

 

Young people need to cultivate non-routine cognitive skills. Or the movie isn't going to end well for them.

 

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There's one thing that really worries me about some of this technology.... Now they have a record of exactly everything you buy and how often. Of course buying online is the same way.

Also, grocery stores are already doing that, when they give you a card that entitles you to their sale prices, and you use that card (or more recently, your phone number) when you checkout.

 

I don't do that.

I sure do. Saves me a ton of money, makes sure that the items I like stay in stock...and even knocks between 10 and 20 cents a gallon off my gas puchases (depending on how much I spend at the grocery store) through one of the gas station chains.

 

dB

 

 

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I presume that there will be initial hiccups and Amazon will get them ironed out. After that, the only determining factor will be if the model proves more profitable (net margin, not revenue). And I believe it will.

 

The inexorable march of technology goes on, and the ship sailed a long time ago - we love to be astounded by "we can!" without really stopping to ponder whether we should.

 

And innovation will always have winners and losers. Kodak is never coming back. The world's greatest cassette manufacturers aren't either. Nor are those steam engine experts. Yes, new jobs, new industries, etc. But there will always be losers in the equation who don't find new jobs.

 

Young people need to cultivate non-routine cognitive skills. Or the movie isn't going to end well for them.

 

Kodak is here local and were 66 thousand at their peak, I know all about it. They were behind with the while digital camera thing in the 90's. My brother in law was a VP there and left as they were a little arrogant and look what happened. It was sad. I can't see a grocery chain doing what Amazon does. They wouldn't make a dent here really. Trader Joes did and failed. Whole Foods is coming also won't be that profitable.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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Yes...not to veer into politics but automation takes more jobs than anything else, and that trend is accelerating. That cat is not going back in the bag...no company is going to hire multiple people to put doodads on widgets if one robot can it--a robot that doesn't need health insurance, won't call in sick or look for a better job--unless there's some kind of artificial incentive/barrier to doing so (which is not exactly "small govt"!). Not just blue-collar jobs either...I'm a software programmer and it's not too far-fetched to think that most of what I do could be automated in the future. Considering libraries and frameworks already some of what used to be "by hand" isn't done by most...the work has moved "up the chain").

 

Assuming we as a civilization are still around in decades, there's going to be a big problem with way more people than there are meaningful jobs for....

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Do things that don't scale.

 

Because the things that do, will be by technology.

 

Progress from disruptive innovation (an overused term these days) is a violent thing. It tears and renders and causes irreparable damage to some. That's undeniable, and it's disingenuous to make believe it doesn't matter.

 

At the same time, the easy response is no one wants to live like the Amish.

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Stokely's last sentence references a really profound and inevitable paradigm shift for society that's not that far off and that nobody is visibly thinking or talking about at all. Really, the whole system of everybody's life revolving around and being measured by work, will not work for that much longer, like you said, when the vast majority of the work can all be automated. It's fascinating and pretty challenging to think about.

Rich Forman

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,

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The pessimist in me can concur that may be one of our possible futures.

 

The optimist in me thinks that man's inexorable drive for purpose - and work being a good and natural element of that, a primary way in which we define ourselves and our purpose through what we do - will mean a lot of us are engaged in new work we could only scarcely imagine back in those halcyon salad days of 2017.

 

"A just machine to make big decisions

Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision

We'll be clean when their work is done

We'll be eternally free yes and eternally young "

 

But that's only those who are fit for that new kind of work, whatever that is. I don't imagine that will provide comprehensive employment for everyone. Morlocks and Eloi, indeed.

 

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I guess the question is, what does Amazon charge the grocery stores and other businesses to "rent" the technology. What is the upfront cost of installation - I'm assuming it requires cameras in every aisle and some sort of marking of the products. What is Amazon's cut of the transactions? Higher than other credit card companies already take?

 

There's a privacy issue here as well of course. Now that Amazon will be watching you - knowing where you are, what you typically buy, what you look like, and other demographics and such. Heck, they'll know you needed vagisil this week or were running low on trojans.

 

Are customers willing to own the iPhone and install the app and have their phone on them to go grocery shopping to avoid having to do a traditional check out? The store will need at least one check out or self serve check out anyway for people who don't use the tech.

 

And I guess is all this cheaper and all that more convenient than salary+benefits of a handful of check out staff, most of which are part time?

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I doubt this will be cheaper. I'm guessing people will pay a premium for this.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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