This week in ideas: The end of checkout lines, photoshopping your voice, and a new way to pay for a ride

Welcome back to another edition of This Week In Ideas, where we share with you the coolest stories we’ve shared amongst ourselves. Our theme this week? The future is already here.

No more grocery store checkout lines: “Customers will be able to scan their phones at the entrance using a new Amazon Go mobile app. Then the technology will track what items they pick up or even return to the shelves and add them to a virtual shopping cart in real time, according a video Amazon posted on YouTube. Once the customers exit the store, they’ll be charged on their Amazon account automatically.”

A new type of propulsion is causing a stir in the physics community: “The basic idea of the EM Drive is an asymmetrical cavity where microwaves are bounced around inside. Since the microwaves are trapped inside the cavity, there is no propellent or emitted electromagnetic radiation to push the device in a particular direction, standard physics says there should be no thrust on the device. And yet, for reasons even the researchers can’t explain, the EM Drive does appear to experience thrust when activated.”

Photoshop, but for your voice: “The same company that gave the world Photoshop wants to do for the human voice what it did for the human image—give people the tools to warp it in anyway they see fit. At the Adobe Max Creativity Conference, the company premiered VoCo: an audio editing suite that will allow users to make people say whatever they want just by typing.”

A new chapter for AirBNB: The renting company is making a big push into the world of experience booking. “The first batch of Airbnb Trips will include lessons from a samurai master in Japan, training with long-distance runners in Kenya, and surfing with a local pro in Malibu.”

Watch an ad, go for a ride: “Would you watch a few ads on your smartphone if it meant you got a free ride on the tram or subway? Of course you would, especially if you discovered you didn’t have any change for a ticket.”  

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