In Amazon’s new grocery store, there are no registers, and you can walk out as soon as you’ve grabbed what you need. The catch? All the information about your purchase lives in sensors, computers, and the cameras hanging from the ceiling.
But to Christo Wilson, associate professor in Northeastern’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences, not much has changed. “Amazon knows a ton about you,” he says, and customers oblige for the sake of convenience and choice. These are factors traditional grocery stores, by offering unblemished apples and thirty kinds of crackers, have already conditioned people to expect, fellow professor Christopher Bosso says. “The enemy is us.”