As I read about the recent public opening of the first Amazon Go store in Seattle, I found myself having mixed emotions about the new retail concept and the possible effects it might have on society.
In case, you missed it, an Amazon Go customer swipes the Amazon app upon entering the store. The customer is then constantly observed by a battalion of ceiling cameras. Items picked up are further tracked via sensors built into shelves. The only time a customer must interact with an employee is for an ID check if they’re purchasing beer or wine. Customers simply walk out with their chosen items which are automatically charged to their Amazon accounts.
The question I always ask myself whenever new technologies are introduced is ‘how will this enhance our lives’? And, while I was fascinated to read about the specifics of the new technologies that make this way of shopping possible, I was struck by the fact that technological advancement was yet again moving humans further into the realm of isolation.