I’m sure you’ve all seen them by now. They’re everywhere you look; in our supermarkets, in our newsagents and in our cinemas. I am, of course, talking about hidden government cameras. I MEAN SELF SERVICE CHECKOUTS. Yes, self-service checkouts, the robots replacing the youth of today’s part time checkout jobs. But is it really such a good thing to lose the empty stares of sullen teenagers, only to be replaced by the incessant commands of a faceless machine?
One thing that is certainly better, all things considered, is the user interface upgrade. Years ago, I would have been escorted out of any supermarket where I tried to jab the cashier in order to accelerate the process of purchasing a simple box of grapes. The sleek, smooth boxes with simple diagrams are much more visually appealing than the cheery, helpful, “Would you like me to help you with your bags?” humans beings that I used to have to put up with. However, I can find a gripe with the size and shape of the contraption. You see, I like a bit of variety in my cashiers. All I have now is the same bland cube everywhere I go. Talk about dull. And the voice acting? It’s clear that this whole system was built as a vessel for Helena Breck. Although she attempts to add a tone of urgency to her voice, she comes off as more bossy, and if I hear “Please place your items in the bagging area” one more time I’ll have to verbally assault a member of staff and steal a packet of crisps.
So how does that leave self-service checkouts in the end? Well, though they were nice at the start, offering a sci-fi aspect to our daily shopping experience, however, I feel they’ve become far too mainstream… and I can’t be seen liking anything like that!
Overall score: 4.5/10, could do with a built in chair.
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