Panasonic is changing how we shop


The way we currently do supermarket shopping is set to become a thing of the past with many companies inventing technology to revolutionize the experience.

In Japan, Panasonic is currently rolling out the Reji Robo, a piece of technology which completely changes how checkouts operate, even removing the need to bag items by hand.

The technology works by having small radio-frequency ID tags attached to every item in the store.

These tags are used to track items that are put in or taken out of the basket. whilst also giving you an up-to-date total price for your shop.

Once at the checkout, the basket is placed into the robotic checkout system, where the items are dropped in bags below. The shopper then pays and the items are raised back up.

Shinichi Okada, a supervisor at Panasonic’s Robotics Development Department has said that they want to make the shopping experience better.

“With RFID tags on every item in the store, we hope to shorten shopping times and offer new experiences for customers while also contributing to improved staff productivity” Okada said.

Panasonic aren’t the only ones trying to change how we shop.

Late last year Amazon revealed Amazon Go, a store that allows shoppers to scan items as they go, allowing them to simply walk out without even needing a checkout.

Currently, there is only one Amazon Go store, and its set to open to the public sometime this year.


Credit Reuters/Jason Redmond

While the technology is seen by many to be a great revolution in how we shop, other are raising concerns for what it means for jobs in the future.

In Australia alone, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) estimated in 2015 that as many as five million people or 40% of the workforce could lose their jobs to automation within the next 10 to 20 years.

In an interview with the ABC, Toby Walsh, professor of artificial intelligence at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) said that driving jobs were the ones most at risk.

“There’s a real financial imperative for developing autonomous cars” said Walsh.