Amazon’s quest for convenience has reached new heights with the opening of a checkout-free grocery store in Seattle that automatically bills customers.
Shoppers at the 'Amazon Go' store can leave without having to pay at a till – an experience made possible by the same type of technology found in self-driving cars: a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and ‘deep learning’ – a new area of machine learning research.
The ‘Just Walk Out’ shopping concept relies on technology that “automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart,” Amazon explained on its website. When a customer has finished shopping, they simply leave the store and shortly afterwards a receipt is sent to their Amazon account.
At present Seattle in the US is home to the only Amazon Go store, but the Guardian reported that leaked internal documents suggest the online retailer could open 2,000 of the stores across America.
The Seattle store has roughly 1,800 square feet of retail space and is “conveniently compact so busy customers can get in and out fast,” according to the internet giant. It stocks freshly-made food-to-go products, as well as a selection of grocery essentials, artisan cheeses, locally made chocolates and meal kits, with ingredients for making a meal for two in thirty minutes.
The shop is not the first Amazon store to hit the high street, with the Seattle-based company launching a physical bookshop in the same town last year, the Guardian reported.