“Fine, I’ll go, but only if I don’t have to talk to anyone.” -Me, any time anyone asks me to do anything.
Amazon’s never-ending quest to make our lives convenient as hell just leveled up with the opening of their new grocery store, Amazon Go. Located in company HQ Seattle, the 1,800-square-foot retail space features cashier- and line-less shopping. The days of dodging judgy cashier eyes and checkout line small talk will soon be a distant memory.
It works like this: Customers simply walk in and swipe their smart phones at a turnstile of sorts, the Amazon Go app then connects them directly to their Amazon account. From there, they are free to stock up on all the cheesy Amazon goodness they can squeeze into the thread-bare nap sack found in their trunk because they forgot their actual reusable grocery bag on the kitchen counter at home.
Using the power of computer vision, machine learning algorithms, and sensor fusion, items picked up off the shelves are tracked on your phone, if you decide six double fudge cupcakes is one too many, simply place your item back on the shelf and it will promptly be deleted from your virtual cart. Items are monitored and charged to your account and an itemized bill is presented as you leave the store, easy peasy. Check out the video here.
While Amazon Go will sell the grocery basics like bread, milk and cheese, they will also offer meal kits a la Blue Apron, which will include a proper meal for two that can be prepared in 30 minutes.
This concept for a functioning convenient store that supports “just walk out technology” has been in the works since 2012. The current Seattle location is being tested on Amazon employees and hopes to open to the public in early 2017.