How would you tackle the following design problem? Here's the desired user experience that the client, a convenience store chain, wants its customers to have:
1. Customers walk the aisles, physically selecting items for purchase.
2a. They check out via machine.
2b. They check out without physically handling the goods.
3. Their goods are automatically bagged for them by a machine.
Goals 1 and 2a are easy and already solved, but how would you handle 2b and 3? How are the items scanned in place, without the customer handling them? And how do you then manipulate those items into a bag? Look at how Panasonic handled the problem with the design of their Regirobo system:
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For goal 2b, an unimaginative designer might focus on the checkout kiosk/area and think, if the consumer oughtn't handle the goods, well, let's get a robot picker arm in there. It can pick the goods up and present them to the scanner, then place them into a bag one by one.
That approach presents obvious problems. Panasonic's designers instead backed up to the shopping basket itself, rigging it up to scan items as they are placed within it. Then adding that removable bottom and that entire bagging system.
It's Byzantine, overly complicated…and totally cool. Pretty much what we've come to expect from a subset of industrial designers in that part of the world.
Amazon Go, the ball is in your court.
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