Like the words “synergy” and “ecosystem”, “disrupt” is in the Mount Rushmore of trendy buzzword neologisms. Real tech disruption, however, is indeed that – disruption. Uber disrupted the taxi industry. Netflix didn’t just disrupt places like Video Ezy and Blockbuster, it killed them off like a superior species in the next phase of evolution.
Tech businesses are always looking at ways of making daily processes quicker and more efficient, and Amazon Go is lined up to be the big player to disrupt the supermarket world with the release of the first store in Seattle, Washington.
Amazon Go is essentially a convenience store without the need for checkout lines. Stocked with snacks, drinks, salads, chocolates, and even wine and beer, every single item and movement is accounted for. Simply sign up for an Amazon account, make sure you have a newish smartphone with the Amazon Go app installed and you’re ready to shop. You start the shopping experience by waving a code on your phone at a turnstile. As soon as you enter the shop, your movements are tracked. Every item you take off the shelf is accounted for thanks to cameras, sensors and deep learning systems working in synergy (there’s that buzzword). When you leave the shop, it calculates the tally and a fee is charged to a credit card you have linked to the app. Pretty simple.
No-one likes long lines, especially when you’re trapped in the supermarket after work and all you wanted to do was pick up some cat food. A simple “in and out” shopping experience would make life easier. Amazon Go could very well change the game, but what’s not to forget are the millions of jobs set to be replaced by automation. Privacy is also paramount – will your shopping habits be tracked? Is that data shared? We’re heading towards interesting times, and the term “disruption” isn’t just something that applies to the tech world.