Amazon released a video of their new in-store shopping concept that will revolutionize the purchasing experience but could also put millions of people out of work. The technology will track shoppers' movements and what products they grab and then automatically charge the shopper's Amazon account when they leave — no waiting in line for a checkout.
For those who dread waiting in long store lines, this could be a godsend, but as with most technological blessings, there is a curse as well. All of those store clerks will need to find new jobs if this tech takes flight.
The concept has already been applied at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle where people can purchase meals and snacks. It's in the testing phase exclusively offered to Amazon employees but will expand for other consumers in 2017.
Although it may take years for the advancement to impact workers, all we need to do is look back to the time before item scanners were widely used to see how technology spreads. The question is not if automation will reduce the demand for workers, but how soon.