The impact of digital technology on the way we shop has been profound — just consider the fact that we can now order about anything we want online with a few simple clicks and have it shipped from the other side of the world in a few days (if you’re willing to pay for express shipping, of course). Now, shoppers at Carrefour City+ in Mall of the Emirates can simply grab anything they want and leave without going through the traditional checkout process, which, as you probably are personally familiar, can be a painfully slow experience.
“Carrefour City+ has been designed to make life easier by using technology to remove friction and enhance the retail experience,” revealed Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail. “The store represents a huge leap forwards for retail in the UAE and region as Carrefour continues to innovate to meet the needs of the present whilst anticipating future shopping trends”.
The retail and leisure operator Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has enabled the first contactless checkout experience in Dubai using artificial intelligence and the current MAF Carrefour App. Here’s how it works in practice:
- A customer enters the store using the MAF Carrefour App.
- The customer can then simply pick any items from the shelves.
- Artificial intelligence identifies each picked item.
- All items are automatically added to a digital shopping basket.
- When the customer walks out of the store, payment is automatically made for the content of the digital shopping basket.
Carrefour City+ stocks over 1,300 items, including basic food items, ready-to-go meals, and personal hygiene products. Besides the shopping experience, the contactless checkout system also improves the store’s inventory management, ensuring pinpoint accuracy at all times. Does this sound like a shopping experience you’d be interested in?
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.