The Potential Problems Of Amazon Go

The Potential Problems Of Amazon Go

The futuristic shopping method may come with a variety of issues.
784
views

Last Monday, Amazon delivered the news of plans for an enhanced grocery shopping center that could be the future of retail. With no check-out kiosks and no lines, they hope to create a better and faster experience for all. Through deep learning algorithms, computer vision and sensor fusion (something Amazon calls "Just Walk Out" technology) customers will be able to enter the store and check-in with their smartphone. From there, you grab what you need and walk out.

The store will charge your Amazon account for the items and send you a receipt with no wait. Amazon is currently testing out their new 1,800 square foot shopping facility on Amazon employees in Seattle, Washington, and if all goes well, it will open to the public in early 2017. You can watch a video and check out the FAQs on the Amazon website here.

While I think this has potential, there are quite a few aspects that Amazon is staying eerily quiet about, including how exactly they are going to pull it off. Ignoring the hype, I can only think about the potential problems for this futuristic concept. How does it work?

In March 2015, Recode posted an article about a patent application filed by Amazon that outlined some of the ideas that would make the new store run smoothly. The article suggests we may have a reason to be concerned about our privacy with this system. They say, "the application describes the use of cameras that would snap photos to show, for example, when a person entered the facility, when she removed something from a shelf and when she left with an item in her hand. There is mention of facial recognition... User information may include, but is not limited to, user-identifying information (e.g., images of the user, height of the user, weight of the user), a user name and password, user biometrics, purchase history, payment instrument information (e.g., credit card, debit card, check card), purchase limits, and the like.” This is the same idea as an employee following you around the entire store, watching what you pick up, and writing it down, but through cameras, computers and technology we don't understand. Another theory introduces the use of RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, which lets retailers identify products just like bar codes do, but through a wireless network. With the little information we have on the technology, Amazon claims it's similar to the specifics of self-driving cars.

But the problems don't end with the potential privacy invasions. The gist of Amazon's store has what we know as "shoplifting" as their selling point. How easy will it be to enter the store and just not scan your smartphone, essentially keeping yourself out of the system altogether?

What about the individuals who don't have smartphones? No smartphone, no sale. And something that happens to many as a regular occurrence--what if your phone dies while you're shopping? How will groceries be bagged, if at all? How will they handle a return policy? Picture this. Amazon Go opens up to the public and a father and his two young daughters decide to go shopping. The girls are tossing into the cart--this snack and that snack--while Dad shops, too. A perfectly logical and realistic situation. If a human being watching diligently behind a camera isn't involved, how will Amazon track multiple people putting multiple items in a cart? Do each of the daughters need a smartphone and Amazon account or can they somehow be "linked" to the main account? How will this technology know the girls belong to the father in the first place?

There are many unanswered questions about the specifics of Amazon Go. For now, all we can do is watch and wait for more information.


Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Popular Right Now

21 BuzzFeed Quizzes To Take When You're Trying To Procrastinate

Why study when you could be on BuzzFeed?
66632
views

According to my previous article, 12 Things That Are Only Acceptable In College, spending 2.5 hours taking BuzzFeed quizzes is completely acceptable if you're in college. With it being that time of the semester when the list of things to do is never ending, sometimes it's easier to just ignore your problems and spend your studying time procrastinating. If this sounds like something you need to do, here's the ultimate list of quizzes to waste your time on.

1. Reply To Your Crush's Texts And We'll Reveal Your Future

Wondering what you're going to do with your life since you're probably going to fail that exam that you have tomorrow? After all, you are taking BuzzFeed quizzes right now instead of studying. This quiz will answer that question for you.

2. Which "Gossip Girl" Character Are You Based On These Random Questions?

This one's a classic that you just can't possibly skip.

3. Build A School Uniform And We'll Guess Who You Were In High School

If you're like me, you always secretly wished you had a uniform in high school so that you didn't have to pick out an outfit every morning. Now you can live out that dream and find out what it says about you.

4. We Can Guess Your Age After You Build Your Own Dream Home

If I got 70's, does that mean I have timeless taste or terrible taste?

5. Pretend To Go Shopping And We’ll Figure Out If You’re More Ann Taylor Or Ann Taylor: Loft

Ladies, this is an important one.

6. Plan Your Day And Find Out Which "Grey's Anatomy" Girl You Are

Maybe if whatever you're doing right now isn't working out, you could become a doctor...

7. Create A Makeup Look And We'll Tell You Which Hogwarts House You Truly Belong In

Or you could become a wizard.

8. Pick An Outfit And We Will Tell You What You Do For A Living

And if neither of those work out, this quiz will tell you exactly what you should do.

9. Spend All Your Money At This Drug Store And We'll Tell You What You Should Be Doing With Your Life

And in case you didn't like either of the previous suggestions, you can see if this one is any better.

10. Build A Dream Castle And We'll Tell You What Type Of Unicorn You Are

Since unicorn everything seems to be the rage right now, you'd better keep up.

11. This Reverse Word Association Test Will Uncover Your Personality Type

This one's for those of you who don't have the patience to get through the Myers-Briggs test.

12. Design Your Future Backyard And We'll Reveal How Many Kids You'll Have

If you're going to have more than 2 you better get back to work so you can support them.

13. Pick An Outfit From Patagonia And We'll Tell You How Long You'd Survive In The Wild

Find out if running away to the wild is really a better option than struggling through that 10 page paper that's due at 8 am tomorrow.

14. Which Character From "The Office" Are You At YOUR Job?

Let's hope you don't get Kevin.

15. Which Meryl Streep Character Is Actually Most Like You?

Are you as mean as Miranda Priestly?

16. Take This Picture Test And We'll Tell You Your Best And Worst Qualities

No need to prepare for your next interview, just give them these answers.

17. What Kind of Bathroom Guest Are You

Are you actually a terrible guest?

18. What % Gross Are You Actually?

Or maybe you're just gross in general.

19. Your Food Preferences Will Reveal Which TV Character You Are

Are you more Blair Waldorf or Michelle Tanner?

20. What Grade Are You Getting In Life?

Are you literally failing at life right now?

21. What Type Of Emoji Are You?

Instead of a signature scent, you can have a signature emoji!

And if these didn't take you long enough, you can always check out BuzzFeed for more.

P.S. Good luck studying for that exam. Maybe you can find a quiz that tells you how to ace it.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Holiday Food For Thought: Unplug And Recharge

Mentally prepare for the next semester of school by minimizing technology over the holidays.

52
views

With finals fast approaching, I've been noticing that I've been practically glued to my computer, hunched over, frantically typing some paper or assignment that is due in just a few days. This is inevitable, at least until mid-December, when we get the sweet relief of stepping out of that last exam and driving home to a six-week-long winter break!

Over that nap-filled and Netflix-bingeing break, it's important to take some time and relax without so much screen time. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are great, but maybe take a few hours per day with the phone off and live unplugged.

The best part of social media is that it enables us to live in a virtual present where the quiet doesn't seem so...well, quiet. I love to check in on my friends across the world and stay in touch with people who don't live near me as much as the next person. But what is even more important is to take a break once in a while and either spend the time with those around you or yourself.

It's important to take some time and meditate, read, listen to music or just sit and relax. Your brain is used to the hectic stress of college, and it will thank you for giving it a break. After spending months in what is basically a live-in slumber party, it's not wrong to take a little bit of a breather.

I've written before about the importance of getting to know yourself, but I still stick to that. It's essential that you listen to yourself and give yourself some recovery time. As dramatic as it sounds, you've come back from a hard-fought battle, and there is no shame in a few lazy days and doing what you really enjoy.

But also take time to do what is best for you: brave the snow and go outside, cook a meal with your parents, play with your pets, or spend time with yourself, curled up and reading a book with a mug of tea. Just because it is a cliché doesn't mean that it isn't a great practice of self-care.

Take the challenge this winter to spend a day each week with minimal technology, and you'll come back to the second half of your school year more rested, more focused and more excited to see everyone you missed so much while you were away from your home away from home.

Related Content

Facebook Comments