Amazon’s First Fully-Automated Grocery Store Opens To The Public

Written by on January 23, 2018

by Tyler Durden via Zero Hedge

The 1800-square-foot (167-square-meter) store is located in an Amazon office building in Seattle. In a brief description of the customer experience, Reuters explained that, to start shopping, customers must scan an Amazon Go smartphone app and pass through a gated turnstile.

In an interview with the Times, Amazon representatives were tight-lipped about how the store’s complex system of cameras and sensors would work, other than to say it involves sophisticated computer vision and machine learning software. The sensors are mostly out of sight, though customers can, in some areas, see clusters of small cameras hanging from the ceiling.

Ready-to-eat lunch items greet shoppers when they enter. Deeper into the store, shoppers can find a small selection of grocery items, including meats and meal kits. An Amazon employee checks IDs in the store’s wine and beer section.

Sleek black cameras monitoring from above and weight sensors in the shelves help Amazon determine exactly what people take.

If someone passes back through the gates with an item, his or her associated account is charged. If a shopper puts an item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from his or her virtual cart.

Clearly struggling to list off aspects of the shopping experience that would be familiar to customers, Reuters reported that products sold at Amazon Go locations contain price stickers similar to traditional grocery stores. But, judging by the Times’s description, most of the experience will feel completely alien: The paper described passing through the store’s turnstiles as similar to entering the subway.

The experience is more closely akin to shoplifting, the paper noted. But, assuming you have an Amazon, account, actually shoplifting from the store is exceedingly difficult, according to the Times – a testament to the sophistication of its system of sensors.


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