We’ve all been there – after an already exhausting day, you’ve just spent over an hour cruising in the store, contemplating over product prices and ingredient comparisons. The aspired moment finally arrived and there you are, standing in line for the cashier, but somehow it seems to drag longer than your entire shopping escapade.
Amazon decided they must come up with a solution, as shopping should be a joyful experience. The easier the purchase, the happier the client and thus – the more profitable the business. Their solution seemed like an easy one – by removing the cashiers and checkout process, shopping would be perceived as an easier task.
And so the concept of Amazon Go was formed – by utilizing the same type of technologies used in self-driving cars (sensor fusion and computer vision), customers are able to take products and return them to the shelves, all while the Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects what is being taken. By keeping track of what is being taken, a sort of virtual cart is formed, and so when the customer is done shopping, they may simply leave the store. Once the customers leave the store with the purchase, their credit card will be billed through their Amazon account, and a receipt will be sent to their designated email address. No lines, no checkout, no cash – just grab what you want and go.
The store will offer a selection of grocery essentials like bread and milk, as well as precooked meals that only require reheating. Drinks, salads, sandwiches and sweets will also be available for purchase.
The store was scheduled to launch early 2017, but then was delayed to the end of March – which was eventually postponed as well, due to technical difficulties. Apparently, the system can only keep track of less than 20 individuals at any given time in the store, otherwise it crashes. Additionally, the automated system has a hard time tracing the whereabouts of products that were returned to a different location than the one they were in initially.
We certainly hope these technological hiccups are a slight setback, and will not completely shatter the dream of having a simple, innovative system to enhance our shopping experience – but only time will tell.