Amazon opens its grocery store without a checkout line to the public

Amazon has opened Amazon Go, its first fully automated brick-and-mortar grocery store, in Seattle. The concept, which was previously tested among Amazon employees, uses various technologies to track purchases digitally, so customers pick up goods and go, without ever standing in a checkout line.

To shop in the store, customers must first download the Amazon Go app and link it to a payment method. Then they open the app on their phone and scan it at the four turnstiles to enter the 1,800 sq ft store. Once inside, cameras in the ceiling, sensors on the shelves and a massive amount of computing power track every item they pick up and what goes into their pockets or bags. As they move through the store, each item is added to their digital tab. If they pick something up but then put it back, the store knows it and removes the item from their virtual shopping basket. 

The technology behind Amazon Go, called Just Walk Out, is proprietary and Amazon is expected to keep its details secret while it tests it on a small but more varied customer set than the Amazon employees who’ve been using it. It was originally scheduled to open to the public in early 2017 but was delayed in part due to the complexity of the technology.

The company has no plans to open any more Amazon Go stores or export the technology for the time being, despite intense interest from the public.

Source: USA Today