I managed to break the space bar on my Apple Wireless Keyboard and had to run to the Apple Store at lunch yesterday to get a new one. Of course, it being an Apple Store and lunchtime, the place was packed. There wasn't even a greeter at the door asking if I had a Genius appointment—it seemed to be all hands on deck directly helping customers.
I swam through the crowd and grabbed a new keyboard off the shelf, and then stood around for a minute or two to see if there were any employees about to free-up. Nope. Not a chance. I started to pull my iPhone out to scan Twitter or Facebook and then remembered that Apple had rolled-out some self-check-out feature in the Apple Store app. This seemed like an ideal time to try it out.
A couple seconds after opening the Apple Store app it recognized the store I was at and there was an option to buy stuff and charge it to my Apple ID account. Perfect! Selecting that option turned on the camera so that I could scan the keyboard's bar code. (It turns out that you have to hold the bar code right side up for it to be recognized.) The app then asked for the CVV number for my default credit card, and then emailed me a PDF of my receipt. Done!
Now, the hard part: Walking out the front doors with my new purchase. Even though I'd just paid for the keyboard and had an emailed receipt to prove it, I still felt like a shoplifter. How would any of the employees know I wasn't trying to get a five-finger discount? Well, at this point they were all too busy to really even notice me, but I wondered if there was some CCTV magic happening in the background to identify shoplifters and avoid hassling honest shoppers. At the conclusion of the purchase the app asked if I wanted an employee to provide me with a bag. I said "no," since everyone was so busy and I didn't want to wait any longer, but perhaps in retrospect that would have been a more comfortable choice.
I walked out the doors with a sense of trepidation. I expected some blue shirted employee to stop me, or an alarm to go off, but neither happened. I just strolled across the parking lot to my truck, my new keyboard tucked under my arm. Fast and painless, with just a bit of apprehension at the end.