New supermarket launched in the US with no checkouts
Amazon has launched its futuristic, checkout-free grocery store in Seattle today, Amazon Go, making human-checkouts, cash registers and or going through self-service counters all redundant.
From now on, any person with an Amazon account can shop at this 800sq ft store without going through the hassle of a checkout line.
Shoppers must first download the app and check in by scanning their unique QR code. Overhead cameras work with weight sensors in the shelves to precisely track which items they pick up and take with them.
Amazon believes that this tracking is precise enough to distinguish between multiple people standing side-by-side at a shelfand which one was merely browsing.
The system also knows when people pick up items or put them back, making sure that Amazon doesn’t charge a customer wrongly.
Purchases will be billed to customers’ credit cards once they leave the store. This means that Amazon Go’s systems will automatically debit the accounts of users once they leave the store and also send them a receipt to the app.
The idea is to “push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning” to create an “effortless experience for customers,” Dilip Kumar, Amazon Go vice president of technology, told media.
Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, also told media that the store worked very well throughout the test phase, thanks to four years of prior legwork.
Originally announced in December 2016, the Amazon Go store was initially slated to open to the public in early 2017 but was delayed amid reports that the technology was encountering problems when too many people were in the store, and that the system struggled to track some items when they were moved.
Another criticism this model faced during the trial was that when children were brought into the store, they caused havoc by moving items to incorrect places.