One word: Juicero
We all know how that went down.
A startup called Bodega AI, facing an unanticipated Twitter tempest, has rushed to reassure people that it isn't out to kick mom-and-pop stores to the curb. The venture-funded firm, which makes software and hardware to create "delightful automated stores" – what normals might call vending machines, but for their Ikea affect – …
Went into a BBQ place to get a sandwich to bring back to work for lunch.
Order sandwich. To go please.
"Oh we can't do that."
"What? But I know you do takeout? or did? did you stop?"
"Oh yeah, but THAT sandwich is not available to-go"
Why? It's just a large sandwich with pulled pork on a bun... the regular size is available to-go.
So I left, and ordered and paid at McDonald's using their kiosk w/o talking to a soul, except to say "thank you" when the girl handed me my food.
I hope Mom & Pop end up on a sidewalk pushing a cart in the middle of winter with nothing but a t-shirt and shorts to wear.
I sort of know what you mean - small shops sometimes have curious restrictions on what they will sell, and really iffy service when you ask why. However, since I have never really liked buying things because of the need to interact with other humans, I may not be the best person to assess these things (the Internet has made buying things so much more pleasant).
I feel slightly bad when I use the automated checkouts at my local supermarket as they appear to lower staffing requirement by 75% (four tills:one human); the staff do encourage you to use the self service which seems a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas (although they may not have a choice).
These sorts of machines have been around for years - in Germany some shops had their whole shopfront as a big vending machine for out-of-hours shoppers. The prices in the machine were usually slightly higher than buying in the shop.
I remember having to go out and buy personal hygiene items one night in Germany. Convenient, but harly a replacement for real shopping.
So is there a robotic solution for stocking it? If not it's a fancy vending machine. They aren't going to replace any shops any time soon, except where they already have.
It's great for small items, but even the bread vending machines around are larger than the bodega ones I've seen, so either they sell only small items, are restocked often or just don't sell very much. Belgium has vending machines for beer/wine that read an ID card,
Can't really see anything new here. All for more and better vending machines, improving logistics would be grand too. Being able to vote for what products you wanted would be nice too.
Back in my day (uphill both ways, gravel for breakfast, pay mine owner for pleasure of working etc) at work there was a fridge of drinks, decent coffee and box of snacks that where all paid for by anhonesty box and a little self policing. If you wanted something different, you popped it on Bob's cash and carry list.
I think I just spotted a business opportunity. In exchange for a free house in a posh area and a modest honorarium, I'll live there in slight squalor - not so much squalor that it lowers the tone of the area, but just enough to give the other residents that ineffable sense of superiority. I'll even tip my flat cap and mumble "morning guv'nor" as I shuffle past them in the street.
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