It’s either the future of retail, or the peak of laziness. Although come to think of it, it really could be both. Meet the Moby Mart, a store that you don’t have to drive to because, well, it drives to you. Heralded as the world’s first autonomous, staff-less, mobile store, this new shopping concept brings convenience to a whole new level.
“The Moby Mart offers products for immediate consumption, such as milk, lunch, or medicine [that’s] over the counter, around the clock,” the team explains on its website. Much like the Amazon Go store, you won’t have to pay when you’re inside the Moby Mart. Rather, you’ll just scan your purchase right off the shelf, pay with the Moby Mart app, and be on your merry way. But chances are you won’t have far to go. You see, the Moby Mart can be hailed like a cab from just about anywhere, and it will make its way to you for your all your immediate retail needs.
You can even order ahead and simply head into the Moby Mart to pick things up (watch out Amazon Prime). “By using AI, patented inventions, and the famous cloud, the Moby [offers] the simplest shopping ever,” the team says on its website.
But ease of use aside, the Moby Mart is also quite environmentally friendly. The shopping center not only runs on solar energy thanks to its solar panels, but also features an integrated air purifier, which claims to clean up as it moves along.
While the Moby Mart is currently in beta testing stages in Shanghai, the future of the technology could be more exciting still. Autonomous vehicle technology could allow Moby Mart to drive through busy streets completely of its own accord, and a fleet of microdrones could make it easier still for you to get your supermarket essentials by delivering your orders straight from your curb to your doorstep (or to your window). And if there are a number of Moby Marts active in the same area, they’ll be able to communicate with one another for a more efficient shopping experience.
“Stores needs to be more flexible to meet the demands of the future,” said Per Cromwell, lead designer for the project. “Rents will go up in prime locations, margins will go down on a lot of products due to online retail. Stores need to become more efficient. Mobile and staffless is to date the most flexible and efficient solution. When online and offline merge, a new kind of store is needed.”
Moby Mart is making its press debut on June 13, and we’ll just have to wait and see when the rest of us get to experience the glory ourselves.
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