On Monday January 22nd, Amazon opened its automated and checkout-free grocery to the public for the first time. Located in the company’s headquarters in Seattle, USA, Amazon Go is the first automated grocery store.
Amazon Go achieves the feat of merging online and offline shopping seamlessly. Shoppers only need to reach into their pocket once, when first entering the store, scan their Amazon Go smartphone app.
Amazon’s new Just Walk Out Technology facilitate the virtual cart and checkout. Cameras able to identify customers and weight sensors supervise the whole shopping experience. Products taken off or put back on the shelves are recognized. The ability of the cameras to identify the customers facilitate the virtual cart and checkout. Shoppers are billed on their registered credit card when exiting the store. No cash registers, no checkout lines.
“This technology didn’t exist,” Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go told Reuters, walking through the Seattle store. “It was really advancing the state of the art of computer vision and machine learning.”
Amazon Go opened to Amazon employees on December 1st 2016 in a test phase. It was first expected that the store be opened to the public early 2017. However, the realization of this project faced regulatory and technical challenges. Reuters reported that, in the test phase, cameras had some difficulty discerning shoppers with similar body types.
Amazon has not disclosed any plans to open more store in the future or integrate the technology to Whole Foods Market, which they acquired last year.