Thursday, June 22, 2017
A startup company in Shanghai has created a prototype 24-hour mobile convenience store that has no staff, no registers and is designed to eventually drive itself to a warehouse to restock, or to a customer to make a delivery.
“The startup behind it believes that it’s the model for the grocery store of the future – and because it’s both mobile and far cheaper to build and operate than a typical store, it could also help bring better access to groceries to food deserts and rural areas,” according to a Fast Company article.
The store, called Moby, is designed to be an easier way to shop. Shoppers use a smartphone app to open the door to the store where a hologram-like artificial intelligence (AI) greets them. Shoppers scan what they want to buy or place it in a smart basket that tracks their purchases. When they walk out the door, the store automatically charges their credit cards.
The tiny shop will stock fresh food and other daily supplies. In a dense urban neighbourhood with high rents, the low-cost system could make it possible for a group of neighbours to launch their own local grocery, the article says.