A grocery store in Seattle is the latest thing infused with Amazon's AI, where you can shop with your smartphone and walk out without checkouts. Image: Compfight

Amazon’s new store of the future, Amazon Go, opening Monday in downtown Seattle located at the end of the same street as Amazon’s headquarters.

The futuristic concept begins at the entrance of the store where a row of gates will greet and allow customers in with the smartphone app. Upon entry, a convenience store with no human personnel lets customers have a unique shopping experience inside a 1,800-square foot mini-market, in which they won’t need to make any stops since the checkout process is completely automated.

Amazon has remained secretive about the system’s functionality. Nevertheless, one of the only signs of technology that remains visible to the public is the barcode activation when products are picked up from the shelves. The system automatically adds the price to the customer’s Amazon account and subsequently removes it when the product is placed back.

How does an automated grocery store work?

Amazon stated that they simply shifted the function of staff inside the store.
“We’ve just put associates on different kinds of tasks where we think it adds to the customer experience,” Ms. Puerini said to The New York Times.

One of the few functions that human personnel performs inside the store is preparing meals for consumption inside the store. Chefs cook the meals, while other staff’s only work is to basically restock the shelves and help troubleshoot any inconvenience the customers may encounter on their trail.

Since there are no cashiers, an employee awaits in the liquor section to verify I.Ds before they can take any alcoholic item from the store. The whole concept of having no staff at all came from the frustrating and time-consuming lines at the supermarket.

After the tours given one of the comments from The New York Times were: “At Amazon Go, checking out feels like — there’s no other way to put it — shoplifting”. Since there’s no real conventional checkout process, Amazon sends a virtual receipt for the purchases made to the customers once they leave.

Amazon’s technological presumptions

It is a mystery whether Amazon even plans to open new Amazon Go stores or if they plan to expand these systems to other grocery chains such as Whole Foods or if they plan to keep this store as an individual kind of novelty on the world.

However, Ms. Puerini said Amazon has “no plans” to sell any technology to retailers, given the fact that Amazon Go is the only store with hundreds of cameras that function with recognition systems in order to keep an automated system that keeps a perfect line of order regarding stock in products.

Source: The New York Times