Two former Google employees are hoping to take over street corners, dorm rooms, gyms, or anywhere convenient in urban residential neighborhoods, with their reinvention of the vending machine.
Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan launched a new startup called “Bodega,” with the goal of making convenient stores all but a thing of the past. “Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store,” Fast Company reported. “An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card.”
Employees? They would become things of the past as well, because no one will work the bodegas, and all transactions will be electronic.
“The vision here is much bigger than the box itself,” McDonald said, according to Fast Company. “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”
With the backing of venture capitalists, the pair of former Google employees have tested their concept out in 30 locations in the Bay Area.
Fast Company elaborated:
The idea is to preempt what people might need, then use machine learning to constantly …read more