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.
|If Microsoft Designed the User Interfaces of the Future|
|What Happens When the Oil Runs Out?|
|Google Files Patent for Future Password Replacement: Recognition with Funny Faces|
|"Driverless trucks are likely to roll out at scale much sooner."|
|Stretchy Electronic Skin|
|“What jobs will be created and what jobs will disappear?”|
|Gira Lab Universal Timer|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|Boston Dynamics' Robot does Parkour|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“Computer algorithms increasingly control and decide our future.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|“Robots are key to a new wave of local agriculture.”|
|“Authoritarianism depends upon people getting used to hearing the things that they want to hear.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Long live the instant gratification economy—and the increasingly sophisticated technology that’s enabling it.”|