Introducing Amazon Go

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Imp

Lifer
Feb 8, 2000
18,829
184
106
Haven't researched this much... but sounds like they'll attach an RFID to everything. I think I heard that RFID credit cards could actually be read within a few feet.
 

kranky

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
21,000
110
106
I'd be surprised if it was cost-effective to put an RFID tag on every item.
 

smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
27,024
78
86
I'd be surprised if it was cost-effective to put an RFID tag on every item.
Amazon doesn't do shit because it's cost-effective. Amazon does shit so they don't have to report a profit. The slippage at these stores is going to be fucking ridiculous and it is going to cost them a fortune to build and maintain them. But, Amazon doesn't really care like with the moron Fire Phone and Tablets that failed miserably. "Oh well, not paying any corporate taxes this year!"
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
6,022
1,397
136
So one year later and the first Amazon Go store opens for business. The biggest question on everyones mind still remains though. Will Amazon revolutionize shopping in person like they ushered in its downfall to begin with or will they pull it off and succeed.
Boomers and Gen Xers want to know but Millennials don't give a shit because physically going to a store.....well ain't nobody got time for that.
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,376
762
126
Haven't researched this much... but sounds like they'll attach an RFID to everything. I think I heard that RFID credit cards could actually be read within a few feet.
Actually, it is all done by cameras, rather interesting how this works as well.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,122
2,413
126
Those pinko commies at Engadget were complaining how Amazon Go "discriminates against minorities" because it requires customers to have a smartphone and a checking account for payments.

What a load of crap... almost everyone who lives in an urban area has a smartphone now, and those who do not would probably be afraid of this "new fangled" self-checkout technology anyway. I also think that most people can get a free checking account at a credit union somewhere if they really wanted one. What's the minimum amount to open an account now... $100?

Besides, it's not Amazon's job achieve world equality. If that's what you're looking for, move to a socialist paradise like Sweden.
 
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Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
10,923
1,315
126
So one year later and the first Amazon Go store opens for business. The biggest question on everyones mind still remains though. Will Amazon revolutionize shopping in person like they ushered in its downfall to begin with or will they pull it off and succeed.
Boomers and Gen Xers want to know but Millennials don't give a shit because physically going to a store.....well ain't nobody got time for that.
Well I'm a Gen X and if I could avoid going to the store that would be awesome. Your time isn't important to you? To me it is. I want time affluence so I can squeeze as much as I can out of everyday I'm also looking at meal prepping. Having my lunches and dinners prepped for the week. I currently prep all of my upcoming meals for the week. It takes me 2-3 hours on a Sunday. I enjoy it but if I could eliminate that it would be a huge plus.
 
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Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
19,796
2,700
126
Your time isn't important to you?
There often seems to be a notable markup for various product delivery services. It varies by area but things like Boxed.com and the grocery delivery services available to me have a 10-25% markup on products. For me the time savings isn't great enough to offset the markup + fringe hassles
 

KB

Diamond Member
Nov 8, 1999
5,247
269
126
Bloomberg raises an interesting point, they are spending all this money on technology (cameras, rfids, scanners, turnstyles) just to eliminate one low paid position, the cashier. They still need cooks, stockers, customer service, people to check ID for wines etc. They won't save much if any money at all. If you include all the repair costs for cameras, computers and turnstyles, it might actually cost more.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-23/amazon-s-pointless-obsession-with-cashiers

I want to go to the store just to see if I can game the system. For example if I change my clothes/appearance/shape, will it still register me? If I grab an item right next to someone else will it put my item on their bill? If I grab an item with a long stick, will it charge me? It all sounds like magical technology but having had experience in tech, it always fails somehow, especially if it has to run 24/7.
 

Mike64

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2011
2,108
101
91
If you include all the repair costs for cameras, computers and turnstyles
Not to mention long lines of pissed-off customers waiting for (presumably minimal) "customer service" personnel to deal with the inevitable mistakes. IMX, even ordinary POS registers (where there's no issue of an item "registering" properly as long as you hear the beep when you scan it...) screw up all the time, requiring manual intervention to correct errors. Or maybe the "convenience-oriented" won't care if they're overcharged because it's worth the extra 4.5 minutes they've added to their day (time they'll probably spend face down in their phones, anyway)...

I mean, personally, the stores I shop at don't usually have terrible lines to begin with. Especially "convenience" stores where I'm only picking up a few things. "Magnet" stores like WF and Trader Joe's tend to have insane lines (especially WF, which isn't nearly as good as getting people checked out and gone), but I don't shop at places like that very often to begin with. Even my local supermarket isn't bad at all at the times I shop, and especially if you use self-checkout. And anyway/personally, I'd rather use a defined "checkout" process than this "magical" buy-it-as-you-take-it-off-the-shelf nonsense. I take lots of stuff off shelves that I have no intention of purchasing - to read labels, or take to another part of the store to compare with another item, or even just if I'm considering it but then decide I don't want to deal with carrying it, versus other things, home that particular day.

Not to mention that I'm not a fan of using plastic or plastic-equivalents for every random, small purchase. (I just find it more trouble than it's worth keeping an eye on a ton of small transactions versus keeping an eye on larger, regular withdrawals of cash from my back account and rather obviously knowing how much cash I have left in my pocket/wallet at any given moment...)
 
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momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
351
126
Bloomberg raises an interesting point, they are spending all this money on technology (cameras, rfids, scanners, turnstyles) just to eliminate one low paid position, the cashier. They still need cooks, stockers, customer service, people to check ID for wines etc. They won't save much if any money at all. If you include all the repair costs for cameras, computers and turnstyles, it might actually cost more.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-23/amazon-s-pointless-obsession-with-cashiers

I want to go to the store just to see if I can game the system. For example if I change my clothes/appearance/shape, will it still register me? If I grab an item right next to someone else will it put my item on their bill? If I grab an item with a long stick, will it charge me? It all sounds like magical technology but having had experience in tech, it always fails somehow, especially if it has to run 24/7.
It's a forced interaction that can sometimes be incredibly awkward. The idea is getting in and out of a store without any bother.

States with digital IDs can sidestep the ID problem as well.
 

ctbaars

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2009
1,568
163
106
Those pinko commies at Engadget were complaining how Amazon Go "discriminates against minorities" because it requires customers to have a smartphone and a checking account for payments.

What a load of crap... almost everyone who lives in an urban area has a smartphone now, and those who do not would probably be afraid of this "new fangled" self-checkout technology anyway. I also think that most people can get a free checking account at a credit union somewhere if they really wanted one. What's the minimum amount to open an account now... $100?

Besides, it's not Amazon's job achieve world equality. If that's what you're looking for, move to a socialist paradise like Sweden.
Would this apply to Voting ID too? <- troll question ... but !
How does Amazon accept food stamps in this system?
Google does think the corporate world has responsibility to achieve world equality.
 

Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
10,923
1,315
126
Bloomberg raises an interesting point, they are spending all this money on technology (cameras, rfids, scanners, turnstyles) just to eliminate one low paid position, the cashier. They still need cooks, stockers, customer service, people to check ID for wines etc. They won't save much if any money at all. If you include all the repair costs for cameras, computers and turnstyles, it might actually cost more.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-23/amazon-s-pointless-obsession-with-cashiers

I want to go to the store just to see if I can game the system. For example if I change my clothes/appearance/shape, will it still register me? If I grab an item right next to someone else will it put my item on their bill? If I grab an item with a long stick, will it charge me? It all sounds like magical technology but having had experience in tech, it always fails somehow, especially if it has to run 24/7.
You also have to keep in mind that we are in the beginning stage. There are going to be bumps. HUGE BUMPS. But, if it's done right and those mistakes are corrected what about in 3 years? 10 years? 20 plus years? Amazon has long term vision that most people don't have.
 

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
351
126
Not to mention that in the USA retail theft and shoplifting is a $50billion loss each year. If the amazon technology eliminates that, then that's sort of a good thing.
 

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
351
126
What can be "incredibly awkward"?
I don't know about you, but I lift weights and get ocular pat downs on the regular from both male and female cashiers. Sometimes they say, paper or plastic, but really they are saying, my place or yours? I'm in a relationship and I don't need that in my life.
 
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ctbaars

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2009
1,568
163
106
I hate it when they say, "Did you find everything you were looking for?".
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
46,444
3,448
126
Bloomberg raises an interesting point, they are spending all this money on technology (cameras, rfids, scanners, turnstyles) just to eliminate one low paid position, the cashier. They still need cooks, stockers, customer service, people to check ID for wines etc. They won't save much if any money at all. If you include all the repair costs for cameras, computers and turnstyles, it might actually cost more.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-23/amazon-s-pointless-obsession-with-cashiers

I want to go to the store just to see if I can game the system. For example if I change my clothes/appearance/shape, will it still register me? If I grab an item right next to someone else will it put my item on their bill? If I grab an item with a long stick, will it charge me? It all sounds like magical technology but having had experience in tech, it always fails somehow, especially if it has to run 24/7.
The Bloomberg article is missing the point. The point isn't the time or cost savings, it's the convenience. I've seen several initiatives like that so far:

1. I just used Panera Bread's "Rapid Pick-Up" - you order your food from the app or website, then walk into the restaurant, walk up to the take-out shelf, find your bag, and leave - you don't have to interact with anybody or wait in a line or anything like that. This is a great thing to do if say you're on your way home & don't want to dine-in or wait in line or do delivery.

2. I use stuff like Uber Eats from time to time (basically whenever they email me a coupon so that delivery is free, haha). It's the same concept as pizza delivery or Chinese delivery, but with any restaurant that signs up for it...super easy. If I end up working late at a random customer site, I can just pop open the Grubhub app, order some food, and keep working without having to go anywhere to get dinner.

3. Whole Foods now does locker & curbside pickup, if you know what you want. My local grocery chain, Stop & Shop, has the Peapod delivery service. I did the free first delivery & it was pretty good - all of the fruits & vegetables were good-quality & the delivery went fine, but you have to know what you want in advance & you also miss out on seeing new products from wandering the store instead of just clicking around the website (like hazelnut Oreos, nom nom nom).

4. Vending machines are a huge business. I know Silicon Valley's Bodega startup got a bad rap, and now a competing company wants to do a self-driving Bodega, but I like the idea...a vending machine with more options.

Technology hurdles aside, I'm curious to see how Amazon's Go stores are going to fare long-term.
 

Mike64

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2011
2,108
101
91
I don't know about you, but I lift weights and get ocular pat downs on the regular from both male and female cashiers. Sometimes they say, paper or plastic, but really they are saying, my place or yours? I'm in a relationship and I don't need that in my life.
Probably because the population is so dense that we learn (either from a young age, or quickly upon arrival) to basically ignore "random strangers" except on a very superficial level, that sort of thing really doesn't happen much in NYC in "very brief encounter" situations like checking out in stores. Even to women, who're exponentially more likely to get hit on randomly than men... (including obviously gay men dealing with other gay men.) I dare say it also helps that 75% or so of the non-obese male population between the ages of 18 and 70 goes to a gym, so "just" being buff really doesn't stand out to any great degree...


The Bloomberg article is missing the point. The point isn't the time or cost savings, it's the convenience.
Different strokes for different folks, I guess, if you're/they're willing to pay for the convenience. Personally, I simply don't find myself standing on "inconveniently" long lines very often, and I frankly have no interest in minimizing human contact to an absolute minimum while running errands and what not... And I definitely do prefer dealing with transactional "issues" as they arise, rather than having to deal with typical "Customer Disservice" personnel after the fact to get them fixed (eventually...)

Also, I imagine geography has a lot to do with it. Part of the reason I don't stand on long lines is that there are usually multiple alternatives within a small radius of most stores I usually shop at. If I see "too long" a line through the window, I don't even go in, and just stop somewhere else on my way to (work, home, whatever)... ATMS were a Godsend, but that was more because banks used to have horribly inconvenient hours and there were nowhere near the ginormous number of branches that exist these days. And even as to that, now that there so many branches, that open early and don't close at 3pm, and are open on weekends, I don't mind having to deal with bank tellers either, when I have to do things that can't be done electronically or on the phone...
 
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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
14,297
11,167
136
Those pinko commies at Engadget were complaining how Amazon Go "discriminates against minorities" because it requires customers to have a smartphone and a checking account for payments.

What a load of crap... almost everyone who lives in an urban area has a smartphone now, and those who do not would probably be afraid of this "new fangled" self-checkout technology anyway. I also think that most people can get a free checking account at a credit union somewhere if they really wanted one. What's the minimum amount to open an account now... $100?

Besides, it's not Amazon's job achieve world equality. If that's what you're looking for, move to a socialist paradise like Sweden.
you think Engadget are pinko commies? Is there a picture of Donald Trump on all your underwear?
 
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Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,376
762
126
Not to mention that in the USA retail theft and shoplifting is a $50billion loss each year. If the amazon technology eliminates that, then that's sort of a good thing.
They must have capacity limits, since I don't see them being able to track everyone with cams.

Yeah, retail theft is HUGE, I know a mom & pop place that lost $4K/month, and it drove them out of business. They tried alarms on the more expensive stuff, a security guard, exploding ink tags, and all that stuff only caught 25 people/year.
 

KB

Diamond Member
Nov 8, 1999
5,247
269
126
They must have capacity limits, since I don't see them being able to track everyone with cams.
They do have a lot of cameras but people have found many ways to fool cameras with lighted stickers and other stuff.
John C Dvorak did a piece on Amazon GO. In his podcast he mentioned that in the beginning stages (and he wasn't sure if they fixed it) if too many people entered the store, the system would crash and everyone gets everything for free. The turnstyles may have more than one purpose, like customer control.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,122
2,413
126
you think Engadget are pinko commies? Is there a picture of Donald Trump on all your underwear?
Well, that and they had a BS story lately about how the solar cell import tariff was going to cost us 25,000 solar jobs. No hard numbers or studies to back that up... they just seemingly pulled the number out of their ass.

People seem to forget that there are US solar cell manufacturers (like Tesla) who are getting hurt by Chinese manufacturers dumping their products in the US market below cost. They can do that because the Chinese solar cell manufacturers get government subsidies. That tariff will likely save US manufacturing jobs, but that's not the way they spun the article.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,122
2,413
126
Would this apply to Voting ID too? <- troll question ... but !
How does Amazon accept food stamps in this system?
Google does think the corporate world has responsibility to achieve world equality.
They probably should add support for EBT cards at some point. I'm not going to be an annoying SJW and call Amazon evil for not supporting it yet, though.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
6,131
1,745
136
Well, that and they had a BS story lately about how the solar cell import tariff was going to cost us 25,000 solar jobs. No hard numbers or studies to back that up... they just seemingly pulled the number out of their ass.

People seem to forget that there are US solar cell manufacturers (like Tesla) who are getting hurt by Chinese manufacturers dumping their products in the US market below cost. They can do that because the Chinese solar cell manufacturers get government subsidies. That tariff will likely save US manufacturing jobs, but that's not the way they spun the article.
How many jobs will it cost?
 

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