Jason Hope, the Arizona entrepreneur famous for founding Jawa, has recently published a series of articles exploring how the Internet of Things will affect people’s daily lives in the years to come. One of the areas that are likely to experience a radical transformation is the huge retail shopping industry. In particular, local grocery stores stand to be considerably disrupted and improved by the coming technology.
Fully automated shopping
Hope points out that many stores throughout the United States are already offering at least some form of limited home delivery. Hope believes that, as technologies such as automated shelf stocking and retrieval become widely available and cost effective in the coming years, these stores will begin offering home delivery services to a much wider consumer base.
In fact, Jason Hope notes, many people already have refrigerators in their homes which are capable of tracking inventory of items inside. In the future, these refrigerators may be authorized to place orders with the local grocery store whenever the total food stores drop below a certain level.
With modern robots that can efficiently recognize and retrieve items from shelves coming online, grocery stores may use technology similar to that in driverless cars to automate shopping carts with robotic arms that can execute remote orders from autonomous refrigerators and cupboards. If this sounds far-fetched, Hope says that Amazon’s Fulfillment Center in Washington already uses this type of technology.
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