Amazon Go grocery store fires the human checkout for AI

Eric Abent - Dec 5, 2016, 10:05 am CDT
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Amazon Go grocery store fires the human checkout for AI

Amazon Go has just been announced, looking to put a connected spin on grocery shopping. We didn’t believe it at first either, but apparently it’s true: Amazon is going to open up its own retail store, and when it arrives next year, you won’t have to wait in checkout lanes to buy your items. Instead, you’ll simply scan your phone on your way into the store, grab the stuff you need, and then leave.

According to Amazon, it’s as simple as that. When you scan your phone upon entry, the Amazon Go app creates a virtual cart for you. As you pull items off the shelf, they’re automatically added to your cart. When you leave, your total is tallied up and charged, again automatically, and you can give yourself a pat on the back, because you’ve just managed to do your grocery shopping with zero human interaction.

Jokes aside, it does seem like a cool idea, assuming everything moves as smoothly as it does in the promo video posted below. How does it work? Amazon isn’t really delving into specifics at this early stage, but says that it’s combined “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning,” to form its “Just Walk Out Technology.”

That technology detects when items are taken off shelves, presumably using your phone to work some geolocation magic and figure out which virtual cart the item belongs in. If you change your mind about the item, you simply put it back where you got it and it’s removed from your cart. It seems like a fairly straightforward idea that would be quite complex in execution.

While it may be silly to expect such technology to work without a hitch, Amazon is apparently confident enough in what it has developed to open up its first retail location next year. The store will be located at 2131 7th Ave in Seattle, Washington. Amazon employees have been beta testing the store, and even though there’s not a specific opening date beyond an “early 2017” window, you can sign up to be notified about Amazon Go’s launch date via the source link below.

Once the first Amazon Go store launches, you’ll be able to find ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack items that are prepared daily by Amazon’s own on-site chefs. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself person when it comes to food, Amazon Go will also offer groceries that range from “staples like bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates.” On top of that, Amazon Go will also have meal kits available, which will come with everything you need to make a meal for two.

It sound like a great idea, and we’ll get to see how it all works soon enough. So long this Seattle launch location is a success, we might see other Amazon Go stores popping up around the country before long. Are you ready to step into a post-checkout lane world?

SOURCE: Amazon


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