Amazon has launched its first check-out free store, the Amazon Go, in Seattle, Washington, and the experience is mind-numbing. Upon entering the store, you’ll notice several subway-like gates where only shoppers with the Amazon Go app on their phones can walk through.
The mini-store’s shelves are packed with products that you can find in other supermarkets like soda, instant foods, or potato chips. The store also sells organic food, which you can only find in farmers markets and stores like Whole Foods (which by the way was bought by Amazon in August 2017).
The shopping experience in Amazon Go is different from anything shoppers have so far encountered. There are no checkout counters, no checkout lines, and – obviously – no cashiers.
Customers put the products they need in their shopping bags and leave the store through the gates. They will be charged for what they’ve purchased without even having to use a credit card.
Amazon Go Relying on State-of-the-Art Tech
Amazon opened the mini-market to the public last week. Its employees tested the technology for almost a year in advance.
Amazon doesn’t have shopping carts or baskets either. Shoppers will have to have a shopping bag to place the items in. Shelves are packed with sensors that can tell when an item has been picked up or put down.
When you pick up an item and put it in your bag, the system adds it to a virtual shopping cart that customers can keep an eye on from their Amazon Go app. If they change their mind and put the product back on the shelf, the system deletes it from the online cart.
The only sign that customers’ every move is tracked are the hundreds of small cameras across the store. Amazon was very secretive about the technology but said that Amazon Go relies on complex machine learning software.
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