How Amazon runs a grocery store with no lines, cashiers, or registers.
Amazon Go which officially opened for business in Seattle in late January, is Amazon’s testing ground for a physical store. The Amazon Go store is similar to any other convenience store we know for example Wawa, but it has one key difference – it has no checkouts or human cashiers. So instead of waiting in line to pay, customers can just download the Amazon Go app and their Amazon account is automatically billed based on the items they’re carrying when they leave the store. So, people ask how is this possible? This is the technology making it possible – Amazon has created a system that’s runs a high surveillance in the store with hundreds of cameras placed in aisles and shelves. But they don’t use facial recognition technology, they use a more sophisticated technology called computer vision. Computer vision allows machines to basically see what is in front of them and determine what an object is and detects when an item has been taken from a shelf by a customer and who it was taken by. And it doesn’t stop there, the system is also able to remove an item from a customer’s virtual basket if it is put back on the shelves. With this system, Amazon is able to bill the right items to the right people when they walk out with their network of cameras as they’re able to track people in the store at all times.
The Amazon Go store was rumored for years, and when it first opened it was made available for the Amazon HQ employees. But now that it’s gone public, what future plans do Amazon have with it? And with their recent accusation of Whole Foods in the past year, will they implement this system to those stores as well? What could this mean for the future of human workers?