Most people aren’t shoplifters

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

TechCrunch looks inside Amazon’s surveillance-powered no-checkout convenience store, which should work just fine as long as all the customers are Amazon employees:

In addition to the cameras, there are weight sensors in the shelves, and the system is aware of every item’s exact weight — so no trying to grab two yogurts at once and palm the second, as I considered trying. You might be able to do it Indiana Jones style, with a suitable amount of sand in a sack, but that’s more effort than most shoplifters are willing to put out.

And, as Kumar noted to me, most people aren’t shoplifters, and the system is designed around most people. Building a system that assumes ill intent rather than merely detecting discrepancies is not always a good design choice.


  1. Slovenian Guest says:

    Or Japanese! A friend saw a gift shop without a cashier when visiting, there was just a sign and a bowl of change! Pay here, make change & have a nice day.

  2. Steve Johnson says:

    Yes, most people aren’t shoplifters.

    No, the sample of people in your stores isn’t a random distribution.

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