Albeit Bloomberg is quick at pointing out that this exact type of future may not come to fruition, fully automated retail where there is little to no human interaction in fulfilling an order does not sound impossible and, in some ways or in some parts, is already here.
Over the past couple of decades, humans have been entirely removed from the logistics business, which is now coordinated by machines and software. Making shoes long ago became a robot’s craft, at least on the low-end side of the business. Creating, selling, transporting and buying consumer goods such as casual footwear now requires just one significant human—the consumer—plus an individual here and there to oversee assembly and repair robots. Many of the basics we buy are now constructed, bought, and shipped with no one besides the customer ever laying eyes on them.
The sneakers' trip from a southern Chinese footwear factory begins on July 5, 2036, and ends on Caitlin’s doorstep 18 weeks later, on Oct. 26. Caitlin is the first human who has ever seen or touched this particular pair of shoes. She’s pleased that they’re as comfortable as she had anticipated.
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