Imagine a shopping style wherein you enter a department store, roam around picking up your stuff and just walk out of the store without having to wait in long checkout queues. You encounter no cashiers, no payment hiccups and no security guards checking your shopping bag. Well, we might witness this hassle-free shopping style in our lifetime or even better, in near future. Welcome to Amazon Go.
The global online shopper’s paradise, Amazon recently unveiled its future real-world grocery store, Amazon Go that shall make shopping look like shop lifting. The customers just tap their cell phones (already having Amazon Go app) on entrance turnstile while walking in. They are automatically logged into the store’s network which is connected to their Amazon account. Whatever they pickup gets registered into their virtual cart and is billed once they leave the store.
Amazon has been testing this technology – they are calling it ‘Just walk out technology’ – since 2012. It is presently being tested by their employees at a location – 2131, 7th Avenue, Seattle, Washington. The company aims to open this service for public in early 2017. And, how does it work? Amazon says it weaved computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion – something similar is already being used in self-driven cars – to track what items a customer picks. These are then added to the virtual cart on their app. If they change their mind after choosing a product and then replace it on shelf, that product is automatically removed from the cart. When the customers leave the store, the app adds up all the stuff picked by them and bills their Amazon account.
While industry experts are bit sceptical about the hundred per cent accuracy of Amazon’s entire system of machine learning, sensors and artificial intelligence in tracking the purchases, Amazon itself is gala about its innovation. They have been advertising this concept announcing, “No lines, No checkout…No, Seriously”, and hope to redefine the shopping experience of its customers that already number in millions across the globe.