With its ‘Smart Fridge’, Amazon is the pinnacle of ambient commerce !
How does it work?
According to Business Insider, the teams in charge of Amazon Go stores (cashless stores) worked on ‘Project Pulse‘ to develop a smart connected refrigerator, allowing to analyze the inventory of your stocks in real time. For example, if you run out of a product you buy frequently, the refrigerator will send you a notification and automatically order the missing products at Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh. The device will also be able to offer you personalized recipes, to suggest a nutritional diet, and even to tell you the expiration date of the products in order to warn you before they perish!
The refrigerator technology would be based on “image recognition” (see patent filed in 2017 below), which is the declination of the technology implemented in Amazon Go stores.
The same team is also behind the secure payment system with the palm of the hand Amazon one, or the Dash Cart, the smart cart that automatically scans the products you put inside it.
After having launched on the market its own oven and integrated its artificial intelligence Alexa in many household objects, Amazon would be in advanced discussion with a big name of the household appliance industry to produce its smart fridges.
Nowedays, we are in an area where everything is accelerating and digitizing. The American giant has understood this by launching its Dash control buttons to restock laundry products, its stores without checkouts or other products that have been automated to make everyday life easier. It’s essential for Amazon to optimize the “citizen’s” life time: “give people the time they need to live their life, rather than drive around town for their grocery shopping“.
According to eMarketer, nearly half of Americans live within 30 miles of an Amazon warehouse. The launch of PrimeNow has shaken up market standards for delivery and prompted incumbents to innovate to stay in the race. Taking advantage of the increase in store closures and a low real estate market, Amazon PrimeNow is opening warehouses in the heart of the world’s largest cities in order to respect its promise. We are witnessing a real “logistification” of our cities in order to respond as quickly as possible to increasingly demanding customers!
Amazon would like to develop fully automated urban logistics centers called microfulfillment centers: these are logistics micro-platforms of 100 to 300 square meters, operating on a very targeted catchment area (1 to 2 kilometers on average) located in urban areas to bring the product closer to the final consumer. They centralize between 1,500 and 2,000 references. This minimalist referencing perfectly meets a vast demand of an urban audience ever more hurried! These microfulfillment centers even integrate the latest Amazon Fresh points of sale, on a hybrid convenience store model (see image below).
And in the future?
In the near future, these mini warehouses will be supported by Amazon’s Rivian, Aurora and Zoox electric and autonomous vehicles, and Amazon’s drones (awaiting validation by the FAA: ‘Federal Aviation Administration’) directly delivered to consumers.
This notion of immediacy, anticipation of intimate needs could be even finer with the integration of their latest innovation : the Halo View health band. This smartwatch, like Fitbit or Apple Watch, has several sensors to analyze blood oxygen levels (SpO2), emotions, daily activity, heart rate, skin temperature or sleep data. In addition, via the watch app, it is possible to scan its morphology and thus follow appropriate fitness classes related to your activity and your fitness weight ambitions.
Imagine if this watch would be synchronized with your smart refrigerator ! No more headaches, make way for the optimized nutritional diet based on your physical evolutions!
On the same trend, Alibaba at CES 2017, had already proposed a smart fridge incorporating an external camera, capable of scanning your morphology and submitting you appropriate diets only available on its Taobao platform.
That’s the point. Amazon is about to launch a subscription service – Amazon Prime Health – for personalized health.
The ‘smart fridge’ would only be one piece of the puzzle allowing Amazon to become our ‘personal life assistant’, what we could call the ‘Amazon prime life’ in the case of the Seattle giant.
Companion of life, the artificial intelligence advocated by Amazon interferes in our daily lives and is quick to go ahead of our needs. Mirror of our desires, it presents a world in our image and satisfies our unexpressed, even embryonic desires.