News has it that Amazon has filed a patent to create a new kind of retail store which like their ‘.com’ site would be the ultimate convenience.
According to Recode, the store would allow shoppers to pick up products and then leave without needing to transact with a cashier. Such convenience suggests that the store – if it does eventuate – would require sensor technology to be able to firstly identify shoppers, and then the items they’ve chosen.
To quote from the patent:
“if the user is purchasing items from a retail location… because the picked items are already known and identified on an item identifier list associated with the user, the user may simply exit the retail location with the items. The exit of the user will be detected and, as the user passes through the exit, the user, without having to stop…, will automatically be charged a fee for the items.”
The slightly scary part (or genius – depending on where you sit) is their collection and use of data. In the patent – in order to identify the user (aka customer) there is mention of facial recognition, as well this collecting/using ‘user-identifying information’ like ‘images of user, height of user, weight of user, user name and password, user biometrics, payment instrument information (e.g.. credit card, debit card etc), purchase limited etc’.
If you’re interested you can check out the patent there: http://1.usa.gov/1NUT9xX
Whether they do or don’t get into bricks and mortar retail…the fact is that it’s on their minds.