back to article Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

A startup called Bodega AI, facing an unanticipated Twitter tempest, has rushed to reassure people that it isn't out to kick mom-and-pop stores to the curb. The venture-funded firm, which makes software and hardware to create "delightful automated stores" – what normals might call vending machines, but for their Ikea affect – …

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Mushroom

One word: Juicero

We all know how that went down.

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Fuck mom-and-pop stores

Went into a BBQ place to get a sandwich to bring back to work for lunch.

Order sandwich. To go please.

"Oh we can't do that."

"What? But I know you do takeout? or did? did you stop?"

"Oh yeah, but THAT sandwich is not available to-go"

Why? It's just a large sandwich with pulled pork on a bun... the regular size is available to-go.

So I left, and ordered and paid at McDonald's using their kiosk w/o talking to a soul, except to say "thank you" when the girl handed me my food.

I hope Mom & Pop end up on a sidewalk pushing a cart in the middle of winter with nothing but a t-shirt and shorts to wear.

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Re: Fuck mom-and-pop stores

I sort of know what you mean - small shops sometimes have curious restrictions on what they will sell, and really iffy service when you ask why. However, since I have never really liked buying things because of the need to interact with other humans, I may not be the best person to assess these things (the Internet has made buying things so much more pleasant).

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Stupid Bay Area Hipsters...

It's not a bodega unless someone working there is selling low quality weed with pigeon feathers or pubic hairs added in on the side. And somehow I doubt the robots will be doing that.

Call it what it is, a rip-off of the Shadowrun universe's Stuffer Shack.

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Stop

Re: Stupid Bay Area Hipsters...

Also California just banned weed being sold by anything other than a person, so no robot dealers or drone doobies.

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Re: Stupid Bay Area Hipsters...

"Call it what it is, a rip-off of the Shadowrun universe's Stuffer Shack."

@FrankAlphaXII It is only 2017, where do you think StufferShack(tm) got their business model from?

-- <<TopBanana - 14/09/2017 13:01>>

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Commerce without human contact

I have that at my local Morrisons and I'm so used to it that I've stopped saying "thank you" to the automatic checkout machines when they give me my change.

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Re: Commerce without human contact

I feel slightly bad when I use the automated checkouts at my local supermarket as they appear to lower staffing requirement by 75% (four tills:one human); the staff do encourage you to use the self service which seems a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas (although they may not have a choice).

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bodega?

So does it sell liquor? If not, it's not a bodega. If it does, who's keeping the underaged from buying?

Also, something like this wouldn't last 5 minutes before someone tried cracking it open when no-ones looking.

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No need to worry

> reassure people that it isn't out to kick mom-and-pop stores to the curb.

Just as soon as customers realise that the stuff they get from the vending machine is a ¢ or two cheaper, they'll do all the "kicking to the curb", themselves.

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Re: No need to worry

These sorts of machines have been around for years - in Germany some shops had their whole shopfront as a big vending machine for out-of-hours shoppers. The prices in the machine were usually slightly higher than buying in the shop.

I remember having to go out and buy personal hygiene items one night in Germany. Convenient, but harly a replacement for real shopping.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No need to worry

In rural France they're becoming common for selling farm produce. A neat way for farmers to cut out the profiteering supermarkets without having to staff a shop themselves.

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Re: No need to worry

In rural France they're becoming common for selling farm produce.

In rural (or not-so-rural) UK they usually have an "honesty box".

M.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No need to worry

The honesty box doesn't scale. Honesty's easy when it's cheap. By the time you're doing more than a few quid's worth of business, someone's honesty will find its limits.

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Who stocks it?

So is there a robotic solution for stocking it? If not it's a fancy vending machine. They aren't going to replace any shops any time soon, except where they already have.

It's great for small items, but even the bread vending machines around are larger than the bodega ones I've seen, so either they sell only small items, are restocked often or just don't sell very much. Belgium has vending machines for beer/wine that read an ID card,

Can't really see anything new here. All for more and better vending machines, improving logistics would be grand too. Being able to vote for what products you wanted would be nice too.

Back in my day (uphill both ways, gravel for breakfast, pay mine owner for pleasure of working etc) at work there was a fridge of drinks, decent coffee and box of snacks that where all paid for by anhonesty box and a little self policing. If you wanted something different, you popped it on Bob's cash and carry list.

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Anonymous Coward

I’ve always wondered why people moan about gentrification.

What’s so bad about it?

Taking a crap area and making it nice and family friendly for all the right kinds of families to move in.

I don’t see the problem.

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Because then the Upper Middle Class residents will have no poor people to feel superior to. They will be left with trying to feel superior to each other.

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Anonymous Coward

the Upper Middle Class residents will have no poor people to feel superior to

I think I just spotted a business opportunity. In exchange for a free house in a posh area and a modest honorarium, I'll live there in slight squalor - not so much squalor that it lowers the tone of the area, but just enough to give the other residents that ineffable sense of superiority. I'll even tip my flat cap and mumble "morning guv'nor" as I shuffle past them in the street.

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Joke

Calling it Bodega is a problem?

Shoulda named it after himself and called in MacDonalds!

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