Computerworld has a few questions about Amazon Go, most of which I do have as well. On the state of technology and the problems the tech needs to solve:
2: How will it spot fast shoppers?
Speaking of Amazon Go hacking, what about people who are incredibly fast at grabbing products? And how do you prove they meant to buy eight different can of beer? Computer vision technology is good, but they have never seen me shop before. It is a blur of motion. Amazon Go will need to work incredibly fast for some shoppers who know what they want, move quickly, grab multiple items in one pass, push aside other shoppers, or unknowingly game the system in other ways. […]
5: What if I put an item in someone else’s cart?
My last concern (if you can call it that) has to do with the confusion of multiple shoppers in the store at one time. You might be in a group of three or four people who all grab items and put them into the wrong cart. Would the computer vision system really be able to keep track of that? My guess is that everyone would have to behave perfectly when they shop, moving around in an orderly fashion. Like that will ever happen, right?
I, too, find the vision to be overly optimistic regarding every day shopping situations. (That is what betas and prototypes are for, I guess!)
The four years development time for Amazon Go are telling. For comparison: Prime Now started at the end of 2014 in Manhattan.
Combine this with an unfavorable cost structure (why open shops all over the nation if you could be successful without them?), and you can color me highly sceptical regarding Amazon Go.
Recode on the likely management behind Amazon Go:
- It’s Not Just Amazon, These 130+ Startups Want to Change In-Store Retail (But Why?)
- Does Amazon Really Think Eliminating Lines at Checkout Will Safe Grocery Stores?
- No, Amazon’s Coming Pick Up Locations Will Not Be “Grocery Stores”
- Amazon’s Pop-Up Store Strategy Is Going to Confuse Traditional Retailers
- When Amazon Is Closer to You Than Any Brick-and-Mortar Retailer