Beyond the hype

I’ve been waiting for the Amazon Go hype to calm down a little bit to share some questions that I’ve been asking myself. I’ve been thinking in the (very basic) human factors framework (physical, cultural, social, emotional, cognitive) as a way to frame some questions.

For the record, I love the idea of Amazon Go. It seems like an amazing technological bet that shows us what’s possible and what the future can look like but do we have answers to questions like:

Physical/Cognitive

- How could this work without a mobile phone?

- Ok, no check-out lines, but a controlled access line (depending on the amount of people coming in) How could a check-in line be managed?

- Many people tend to make last-minute decisions to drop the stuff anywhere in the store, not in the precise aisle. And some pick them up from there. Does it still work?

- In what other kind of environments could this walk out technology succeed?

- Perhaps less relevant, but a question some people might ask: What’s the long-term effect of continuous radiation on food (and on people)?

Cultural/Social/Emotional

- Regarding a larger adoption of this solution, how could we include the social aspect of grocery shopping? How could we consider the relationships people build in time in their traditional markets? (this can be very specific to some cultures: the fish shop, the butcher, fruit & veg, etc.)

- Together with the prior, how can we tackle the impact of technologies in terms of job creation? What are the new skills to be learned and how can we people be prepared for the next roles? How does education need to change? What other unintended consequences can show up?

- Could all these advancements lead to a stronger nostalgia and a real search for a slow-paced lifestyle?

As usual, this is a conversation starter…these have been just conversations I’ve had with my good friends here, so feel free to add or maybe, give some answers!

Luis Eduardo Dejo

Picture credits: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/180126023346-amazon-go-inside-780x439.jpg