Opinion Technology What's New

This Self-Driving Grocery Store Is More Realistic For Americans Than Amazon

The hype may be huge for Amazon Go right now, but those not paying attention might miss the more practical futuristic model rolling by it. The company behind the new tech, Robomart, can definitely do more for the American people than the “store of the future.”


Photo courtesy of Robomart

Robomart’s concept seems simplistic on paper: tap on an app’s button to summon the driverless mobile grocer, who shows up with an air-conditioned selection of produce you can choose from. You’re automatically charged for what you pick out of the Robomart, and it heads off to its next customer or back to the store to recharge.

The mobile produce shelves are meant to work within the current system rather than outside of it. Major or minor retailers alike can license the vehicles from Robomart and expand their customer reach.

What this model does is allow Robomart to standout from Amazon Go as a futuristic store in several ways. It can be used to combat food deserts in this country, has less challenges to face for a national rollout, provides a level of convenience Amazon has yet to reach, and ultimately, gives supermarkets a major upgrade in the fight against the Amazon-Whole Foods empire.

Photo courtesy of Robomart

While the vehicle may be slow — topping out at 25 mph — its 80-mile range more than makes up for it. Virtually any home within a 40-mile radius of a grocery store will have a more convenient and accessible produce shopping option. This makes Robomart an ideal solution for food deserts, especially in rural areas. The distance to a supermarket in these regions can be 10-20 miles, according to the CDC. For those who can’t drive there for one reason or another, having the store come to them is an optimal solution to help them acquire produce, one of the biggest needs for those in food deserts.

Getting out to these areas, unfortunately, is one of the major challenges the startup faces. Autonomous driving barely exists outside of Northern California, an area just starting to determine the necessary laws to ensure road safety. There’s no telling how long it will take for self-driving cars and the surrounding legislation to spread nationwide.

However, there’s a good chance that it’ll move quicker than Amazon Go’s expansion. The high-tech store has to worry about finding real estate and expanding their distribution network to accommodate for new locations. On the other hand, Robomart only needs one factory to manufacture its cars that fit into a store’s already existent system.

Photo courtesy of Robomart

Amazon itself also can’t beat Robomart when it comes to convenience. Amazon can get product delivered in 2 hours at its fastest, and that comes with a minimum purchase amount. (It’s unknown at this time whether Robomart will have a minimum purchase amount for its service as well). There’s always Amazon Fresh for groceries, but that comes with an annual fee and the dry ice isn’t as environmentally friendly as an electric car. Robomart can overtake Amazon here if it chooses to not charge customers a fee for its service and have the stores pick it up instead.

Would stores choose to take on the costs of delivery to its at-home customers? They would be wise to do so, as Robomart gives them a novel way to stand up to the spread of Amazon and Whole Foods. Conventional stores can rely on these vehicles to match or even surpass the corporate conglomerate in delivery speed and accessibility.

While all of Robomart’s advantages may sound amazing, it will only have these if the startup can leverage its model to its maximum potential. They need to be able to sell more than just produce in the future. They could, for example, give people the choice to add other goods to their order on top of the typical produce shelf. Consumers also shouldn’t be paying any fees to utilize this service, as stores should pick it up to gain the clients they need to stay competitive to Amazon. Furthermore, Robomart will need legislation and approval of self-driving cars to grow fast if they want to spread nationwide. Given the controversy surrounding this new technology, it may take a while for that to happen.

If all of that (and a little bit of luck) can happen, though, Robomart will definitely stand out in the coming years as the more realistic high-tech grocery store option.

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First Look Inside Amazon’s Cashier-less Grocery Store [WATCH]

Amazon just unveiled its first look at the future of grocery stores, and the experience is a lot less human.

Perhaps one of the most annoying first-world problems, is standing in line to check out at a grocery store, and with the launch of the Amazon Go store in Seattle, that problem has now been solved.

The store’s concept is simple, you grab whatever you need, and just walk out the sliding double doors.

The Amazon Go app handles everything else.

Before you enter, you scan the Amazon app, syncing it to the store, and literally detecting the items you grab from the shelf, or put back. That means, that every item in your grocery bag is accounted for, and when you walk out, is automatically charged to your Amazon account.

No cashiers, no lines, not even any self-checkouts. You just walk out with confidence, like an experienced shoplifter would.

While Amazon hasn’t been too detailed on their “Just Walk Out Technology,” they have talked about sensors being involved, combined with hundreds of little cameras working together to make the whole operation work smoothly.

As you can see in the video above with fellow Foodbeast Reporter Justin Oba, the store has a very Whole Foods vibe to it, which is perfect, seeing how Amazon now owns Whole Foods. From their in-house chefs prepping meal kits, to the “go local” signs, it very much looks like this is what Whole Foods might end up looking like.

Amazon estimated to open roughly 2,000 stores within the next 10 years, so this is step one of what could be the future of grocery stores.

So long, slow cashiers.

Grocery News

Your Whole Foods Bill May Soon Be Way Cheaper Thanks To Amazon

Amazon shook up the industry last week by acquiring the ever popular Whole Foods Market for $14 billion.

As people wonder what changes Amazon will make to the store, it is being reported that we might see a drop in prices under the new ownership, at the expense of employees.

Customers know that the bill can get pretty high on an average trip to Whole Foods, but according to Bloomberg, the market plans to “reduce headcount and change inventory to lower prices.”

Ur not special amazon.

A post shared by Jessica Anteby (@beigecardigan) on

In doing so, you might not see too many of your friendly cashiers at your local Whole Foods, as they could soon be replaced by automated check-out technology.

Self checkouts aren’t new, but Amazon has the potential to take it to the next level, to the point where you can literally just walk out with your groceries, no lines necessary.

In 2016, Amazon introduced a cashier-less grocery store in Seattle, with “Just Walk Out technology.” That means your phone syncs to the store, detects what you pull off the shelf and charges you on the way out the door.

It sounds crazy, but Amazon now has physical vessels to carry out its plans on.

Amazon has been tight-lipped about its plans with Whole Foods thus far, but don’t be surprised if employees start getting the axe, in exchange for high-tech shopping experiences.

#foodbeast FOODBEAST Grocery Hit-Or-Miss

Amazon Essentially Gets Whole Foods For Free And Causes Other Grocers Stock Prices to Plummet Into Oblivion

Earlier this morning, Amazon shook the shit out of the grocery realm by buying Whole Foods Market for approximately $14.7 billion.  This power move has consequentially caused the stock prices of rival grocery chains to absolutely plummet.

As of 4:00 PM EST, Amazon and Whole Foods stock prices have risen to 987.71 [+23.54(2.44%) ] and 42.68 [+9.62(29.10%)] respectively. By the time the trading floor closed today, each of Amazon’s 478 million shares worth $987.71 boosted their market cap to $15.6 billion, essentially getting Whole Foods for free, and still profiting a little under $2 billion.

In layman’s terms, business is booming.  Their competitors? Not so much.

The other grocery store chains depleted numbers are as follows:

Smart & Final—9.10[-2.10(18.75%)]

While Target and Walmart took a smaller hit than the others, the substantial shift in the grocery industry may only be the beginning of major changes in the near future. We can only speculate that Amazon is trying to bullet train their Amazon Go concept into more cities at a quicker rate as another cog in their master plan for total domination.

Amazon has already began to simplify the shopping process over their webstore with the “Dash Buttons” feature, or by using “Alexa” enabled voice recognition products.  Sooner or later, we might see Amazon create an absolute stronghold within the brick and mortar grocery industry by implementing the “no checkout lanes necessary” innovation, or it will force others to adapt to try and compete; weeding out the ones that don’t respond.

At the end of the day, the future of groceries looks to be taking a step in the right direction, and Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods can be a solid blueprint of success for other companies to follow.

Technology What's New

Amazon Built A Grocery Store With No Check-Out Counters

If the future of grocery shopping means not having to deal with a line, or a cashier that hates their life, count me in.

Amazon just built a grocery store in Seattle that does away with the entire checkout experience, letting you grab your groceries, and walk out when you please.

To the naked eye, it looks like shoplifting, but they’re using something called, “Just Walk Out Technology,” where the store uses sensors, and computer-vision technology so your phone detects when you grab something off the shelf.

It all starts as soon as you walk into the “Amazon Go” store and their app gets activated. Your phone then syncs to every single product inside the store.
Once you pick out your groceries, the app puts them in a digital shopping cart. The tech is so refined, that even if you put the item back, your phone still reads the process, and takes it off your shopping cart.

With your groceries recorded in the application’s shopping cart, you can walk out of the store, as the products automatically get charged to your Amazon account.

Right now, it’s in its beginning stages, and only accessible to Amazon employees, but the store will be open to the public in early 2017, with an estimated 2,000 stores opening within the decade, according to Supermarket News.