Amazon’s splashy video for Amazon Go — an all-seeing, all-knowing store where customers can grab items, toss ‘em in a bag or pocket and just walk out without ever waiting in line — has obvious appeal. So obvious, in fact, that another tech company proposed the exact same concept more than 10 years ago.
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An IBM ad showcasing a smart store got major circulation on the airwaves in 2006 (when YouTube was nascent). It features a nefarious-looking character in a trench coat wandering the aisles of a supermarket, stuffing his pockets with items as other patrons and security guards shoot him looks of suspicion. As he exits the store through what looks like a security gate that “flashes” him, the guard calls out, “Excuse me, sir!” Read more…
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