31 Jan Amazon Go (and just walk out of the shop).
The global brand, Amazon is ahead of the game (as usual), having just launched its first checkout-free artificial intelligence-powered supermarket.
Since its humble beginnings as an online bookstore, the tech giant has grown from strength to strength, expanding into video downloads / streaming / audiobooks / consumer electronics and now, physical high street shops.
The new store, coined ‘Amazon Go’ was first announced over a year ago in 2017, but was delayed in order to allow time to fine tune the technology, allowing time for Amazon’s employees to test it out first.
Amazon Go was finally launched last Monday, operating in the bottom floor of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.
Shoppers are able to scan the Amazon Go smartphone app at the turnstile, choose the items that they would like to purchase from the shelves and then leave without visiting a traditional checkout.
Using the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars – a combination of computer vision machines learning algorithms and sensors, Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology allows the retailer to see what customers have chosen from the shop and charge their accounts accordingly.
Items that customers can shop for include ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and Amazon Meal Kits, as well as a few grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates.
Despite the lack of checkouts, there are still employees in the shop making food, replenishing and stacking shelves and helping customers.
The new shop spans 1,800 square feet, adding to their already expanding physical presence in the grocery industry, since their purchase of Whole Foods and its 470 stores last year.
You can visit the store in Seattle between 7am-9pm, Monday through to Friday.
What do you think about Amazon’s new initiative; a great step forward, or one step too far?