An article in Fast Company on the rise of the machines reminded me about a recent shopping experience in Sainsbury’s. I was shocked and amazed to see that checkout automation has reached this country. It seems like a good idea, though I’m not sure it was any faster than the staffed checkouts. Interestingly, the Sainsbury’s method involves weighing the bags constantly as you fill them, to make sure you don’t forget to scan any of your shopping. Which inevitably slows the process down, as you get a lot of “unexpected item in bag, please remove” warnings.
Last time I came across automated checkouts was America, where the process was a lot more relaxed – scan, throw in bag, feed money to machine. I wonder how the scan at the end model compares to the scan-as-you-go that some supermarkets tried over here?