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Cashier-Less Grocery Store?

The new Amazon Go store is set to debut its first physical location to the public in Seattle sometime this year. Coined by Amazon as a “Just Walk Out Shopping experience”, the store will be 1,800-square feet and have various grocery store items such as milk, baked goods, and prepared foods. In addition, the store will sell beer and wine. Amazon Meal Kits will also be featured in the store, which include all of the ingredients to make a meal in around 30 minutes.

Amazon Go will do away with all checkout lines and cashiers that are found at traditional grocery stores. Rather, customers will be able to use a mobile app called “Amazon Go” that will track their purchases. Customers will need to first scan their mobile device when they enter the store. The shelves in the store can sense when products are taken off the shelf, and automatically add these items to an online shopping cart on the mobile app. If a customer puts the item back on the shelf, the item will be automatically deducted from their online shopping cart. When the customer is done shopping, they can simply walk out of the store with their items. They will automatically be charged on the mobile app upon leaving the store.

According to Amazon, the process uses “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning” to track which products the customers are taking off the shelf. Amazon explains that this is the same type of technology that is found in self-driving cars. If the technology cannot determine which item was picked up from the shelf, it will look at the individual customer’s previous purchases to help determine the correct item.

There will be some employees in the store to make sure the technology is working properly and to check IDs for purchasing alcoholic beverages. Amazon Go is expected to have lower costs than a traditional grocery store due to the decreased number of employees needed to run the store. In addition, Amazon Go can store data on its customers to learn their shopping habits and make recommendations accordingly. Stay tuned for the debut of the Amazon Go store, which is set to be open to the public in early 2017!