At one convenience store in Sweden, things may seem quiet… too quiet. That’s because there are no employees working at the newly-opened 24-hour food and convenience store in a tiny town called Vilken. Instead, customers download an app to unlock the store’s door and swipe on their smartphones to scan barcodes and check out their purchases, according to the Associated Press. No cashiers needed.
Owner Robert Ilijason’s infant son inspired him to open this convenience store of the future. One late evening, Ilijason was trying to feed his baby when he dropped the last jar of baby food on the floor and had to drive 20 minutes to find a supermarket that was open.
Customers at his convenience store won’t ever run into that problem. The store is stocked with basic goods like milk, bread, eggs, and sugar, as well as diapers, canned products, and snacks. Ilijason receives deliveries, stocks the shelves, and lets his six security cameras and automatic door-looking system do the rest. He also lives nearby so can rush to the store if there’s a problem.
The biggest challenge has been getting the town’s numerous elderly residents used to the technology. Ilijason is thinking of switching to a credit card reader and fingerprint-reader to open the door in order to make the tech transition easier.
"My ambition is to spread this idea to other villages and small towns," said Ilijason. "It is incredible that no one has thought of his before."