Image source: The Verge
Did you ever imagine walking into a retail/convenience store, tap your mobile phone at the entrance and walk in, pick items you want and just walk out?
Well, this is exactly what Amazon’s new futuristic retail store is, called Amazon Go that opened its doors to customers on 22nd of January 2018 in Seattle, Washington.
So what exactly is Amazon Go? As Amazon says, “it is a new kind of store with no checkout required. We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and Go.”
Amazon says it uses the same type of technologies that a self driving cars use, that are computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. So, it means when you pick an item and put in your basket, the item is also added to your virtual cart, and when you put it back on the shelf, the virtual cart also minuses the item. When you leave the store, like, just walk out the store without stopping by any checkout tills because, well, there are absolutely no checkout tills, Amazon then simply bills you for the items you left with and emails you the receipt.
It sounds like the store does not have staff. Amazon says there will be staff making food, refilling shelves and assisting customers.
This type of retail store is new, so it will be interesting to see how this works out.
Like what happens when Amazon fails to recognize the items in your basket? Or if by mistake it bills you for another product or over or undercharges you.
I do wish this type of technology and stores succeeds and that in the near future it does come to Kenya.