Checkout free shopping, the future of retail?

Amazon’s new grocery store, Amazon Go, recently to the public in
Seattle, the United States after five years in development and 14 months
of testing by Amazon employees.

Amazon Go isn’t just an ordinary grocery store, what sets it apart is
that it doesn’t have any cashiers or checkout lines. Instead, Amazon
automatically bills customers on their Amazon accounts based on the
items they’re carrying as they leave the store.

The store itself is only 1,800 square feet, around the size of a
convenience store, so you won’t be able to do your weekly shopping,
unfortunately. Instead, the store acts more of a proof of concept for
the technology, which if successful could be quickly rolled out to more

The company first unveiled its plans in December 2016, describing it to
have the potential to “dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail.”
During trials, there were problems when more than 20 people shopped at
the same time, but so far, it looks like those issues have been solved.

The store isn’t entirely free of staff though; there are still chefs
preparing meals and employees replacing items on shelves, checking IDs
at the liquor shelves or in case you run into difficulties with the

How does this technology work?

First of all, before entering the store,
you will have to download the Amazon Go app, which is available for both
IOS and Android devices. You can then scan the app through the entrances
turnstiles, pick up the items you want and leave the store. It’s as simple as

According to Amazon, this is all made possible by their “Walk Out”
technology, which incorporates three separate techniques – computer
vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, which all work together to
recognize what items you have picked up automatically.

With the sensor fusion technology, the sensors placed on the shelves can
detect when an object has been taken or even put back on the shelf. The
various cameras throughout the store then use “computer vision” to see
the items that have been picked up by customers. The deep learning
technology uses advanced pattern recognition to determine conclusions
from datasets.

What’s next for Amazon Go?

Amazon is yet to announce its plans for the
future of the Go Store, but it’s unlikely they would have developed the
technology for such a long time just for one store. Chances are they
will review the success and profitability and make any changes that need
may need to be made with the technology before any plans are made to
expand to more locations.

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