argodesign Envisions the Future of Amazon’s Whole Foods
With Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, many have been wondering what this partnership will mean, and look like, for the organic grocer. argodesign envisioned what the future could hold for this acquisition through a studio mock-up for Co.Design.
argodesign imagined an Echo Fridge that has an exterior-facing, or street door for small vehicles or drones, which deliver food that Amazon believes you might want. The kitchen side of the fridge might have two doors where consumers can move suggested items to one side — their personal space — for purchase, or leave them there to be returned or delivered to a neighbor nearby. Mark Rolston from argodesign said, “When we started looking at the whole problem, we started from the high level: improving distribution through robotics, and this centerpiece idea of making the refrigerator the point of sale.”
As autonomous vehicles become mainstream fewer people are likely to own cars and argo envisions suburban garages being transformed into gardens. For a monthly fee Whole Foods could set up a hydroponic system with hardware owned and operated by Amazon, and an employee could come by to help maintain it. You would be able to pay a subsidized price for herbs and veggies and the rest could be sold in a hyperlocal farmers market.
Other concepts that argo envisioned were an Unloc Food Scanner that lets you cook meals for your neighbors and allows you to scan the meal for pathogens, allergens, and general food safety — think Blue Apron meets Airbnb for dinner; and, a garbage bin with two holes that allows Amazon to know what you want to reorder and what you don’t.