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Sunday, March 28, 2021

Future of Today's Retail

 All will have an impact, demise no, efficiency yes. 

The future of retail: Do robots, A.I., and AR spell demise for stores?   By Jeremy Kaplan, in DigitalTrends

A robot started prowling the aisles at my local Stop & Shop grocery store a few months ago, a tall, thin drink of water with big, ridiculous googly eyes at the top of its 7-foot-tall frame. Called Marty, the 140-pound robot was first rolled out in 2019 and is continuing to expand his empire, finally reaching the Long Island store I’ve been frequenting. Huzzah?

Marty spots spills and other hazards, and … well, that’s it. Sure, “cleanup on aisle nine” just got more interesting, but his capabilities are limited. Nice try, guys.

Meanwhile, Amazon Go stores are pioneering retail at a whole different level, automatically detecting you as your car enters the parking lot, leaning on A.I. to determine whether you’re merely eyeing the aioli or purchasing those potatoes, and automagically charging your credit card as you stroll through the exits — no swipe required. Retail today is nothing like the shopping malls of yesterday, and the future of retail is headed in a new direction entirely.

Today: What’s in your cart? Amazon knows

The retail world was prepared to be upset by beacons a few years ago. Using tiny Bluetooth sensors from Apple, Kontakt, Estimote, BlueSense and others, retailers were reportedly going to track our progress down the aisle and inundate us with offers, sensing us dawdling over the tie rack. “Buy this right now and I’ll give you 10% off!” That concept clearly hasn’t soared, yet technology has poured into retail at an unprecedented pace.

Consider those Amazon Go stores. How exactly do they know what you’re doing in the store, and determine what’s in your basket and what you need to pay for? Do cameras simply look over your shoulder and record what goes in the cart? .... ' 

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