Imagine walking into your local convenience store, grabbing a few things, and just walking out without standing in a line to pay. Don’t worry, its not shoplifting. Welcome to Amazon Go.
Amazon just unveiled a grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go, a 1800-square-foot retail space located in the company’s hometown of Seattle, lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards.
Amazon Go uses computer vision and sensors to detect exactly what items a customer is walking out the door with, and automatically charges it to the customers credit or debit card. Customers simply scan an code in an app on their smartphone as they walk into the Amazon Go store, place items in their basket, and walk out, secure in the knowledge you’ve been charged to their account as you leave the premises.
Amazon Go stocks the usual convenience store items, snacks, drinks, sandwiches, bread and milk, as well as prepared meals you can cook in your microwave at home.
The benefits are numerous on both sides of the equation. No waiting in line, or having to deal with self-checkout lines for customers. And Amazon gets to literally track everything you do or buy in their store. Not only can they see what you bought, but how you moved through the store, and what you picked up and looked at, but didn’t purchase.
While the Amazon Go store does away with cashiers, it’s not an entirely machine-run enterprise. Humans are still needed to stock the store, wash windows, and mop the restrooms. (For now.)
Currently, the Amazon Go pilot store is open in beta, located at 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street, and is for Amazon employees only. The company expects to open to the public in early 2017.