On Monday, Amazon opened the doors to its first physical convenience store, known as Amazon Go. The store is located on the ground level of the company’s main Seattle headquarters and is attracting lots of attention due to the fact that it has no human cashiers or checkout lines.
The magic of Amazon Go relies on a great deal of new technology, including cameras and sensors that are positioned throughout the store. They monitor all activity by shoppers, tracking which items are placed in shopping baskets and carried toward the exit. Then instead of a traditional checkout line with a cashier, shoppers can simply leave the store and have Amazon’s technology automatically subtract the balance of their goods from their Amazon account.
In order to shop at Amazon Go, a person must install the company’s new smartphone app and scan it at a turnstile upon entering the store. This link’s the customer’s shopping trip to their existing Amazon account and stored credit cards.
The Amazon Go store does employ some human workers, who are responsible for monitoring certain areas and ensuring that the technology systems are running correctly. In terms of products, the store carries much of the same merchandise as a typical convenience outlet, including basic groceries and liquor.
The technology behind Amazon Go has been in the works at the company for years. Amazon first revealed its plans for a futuristic convenience store in late 2016, saying it planned to launch the first one in 2017. However, the company faced issues surrounding the accuracy of the camera and sensor technology, which caused the grand opening to be delayed until 2018.
Amazon says it plans to launch more Amazon Go locations around the United States. However, the company had not indicated whether its checkout technology will be implemented in its bookstores or at Whole Foods Markets, the grocery chain which is bought last year.