Walmart is in the preparatory stages of building a new system that could see self-checkout lanes and smartphones play nice. Ultimately, the company’s underlying goal is to save money by replacing human beings with tiny pocket computers. And so begins the dystopian future under our robot overlords.
“All of the effort is to speed your way through the checkout so that we can reduce costs and improve the shopping experience,” said Paul Weitzel, managing partner at retail consulting firm Willard Bishop. “With smartphones and improved technology we’re going to see more of this.”
The Scan & Go is being touted as a way to make the process “more personal and potentially fast,” Reuters explained. Adding smartphones into the equation, specifically iPhones, will allow consumers to scan their items while they shop in order to shave off a few minutes of checkout time. Goodbye actual human being cashiers. Will you be missed?
The project is currently in the testing phase, so there’s no telling how long before people are running amuck at Walmarts across the country, scanning everything in sight. I hope Walmart will still use humans in its Hunting aisle.
“Walmart declined to give details on where the test might lead, but it could conceivably allow for scanning on other smartphones and be paired with mobile payment,” Reuters said. There’s apparently a retailer-led initiative cooking to create a mobile wallet system. No wallets, no humans, no problem. As long as you’re buying goods.