The Future Is Here? Amazon Opens A Supermarket Without Checkouts
Posted on December 5, 2016 2:51 PM by Rob Williams
It appears that the future of supermarket shopping has just arrived – at least in Seattle. Amazon has just taken the veil off of Amazon Go, a supermarket shopping experience that will make you feel like you’re committing a crime before you even leave the building. And who doesn’t want that?
Amazon Go is a full-fledged supermarket that customers in Seattle can enter once equipped with the free mobile app. Upon entering the supermarket, you’ll scan your phone (via NFC, it appears) at a kiosk, and then enter. From that point on, whenever you pick up an item and place it in a cart or your bag, the Amazon Go app will automatically detect it, and queue it up to charge you after you leave the store.
The technology powering this was made with the help of machine-learning and computer vision, so we’d assume that this first Amazon Go store is littered with sensors and cameras that will help keep track of what each customer is buying. If so, that’s a little creepy, but given how convenient the service is, most people might not care.
In case you are wondering: yes, the technology is also smart enough to know that you put something back on the shelf. This leads us to other questions: what happens if someone picks an item up and drops it? In all likeliness, an employee could likely remove the item from that customer’s virtual shopping cart, but this is the kind of scenario that could prove complicated for this kind of technology.
Right now, Amazon has no plans to expand beyond its first Seattle Amazon Go location. If it proves successful, though, and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t (if prices are kept in check), then it seems likely that we’ll being future stores.