The first Amazon Go grocery store, which will offer customers a shopping experience with no checkout counters, is set to open in Seattle on Jan. 22.
How will a cashless grocery store work? And how is it like to shop without checkout counters? Read on to find out.
How Will Amazon Go Stores Work?
The Amazon Go store, which is finally ready to open after Amazon first announced it in December 2016, enables a cashless, no-checkout experience through a combination of cameras, sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The technology will track shoppers as they pick up items from the store and charge them to their account as they exit.
Customers will check in to the Amazon Go store through a unique QR code generated by the Amazon Go app. The store's technology then links the Amazon account to the customer's physical presence, with cameras then starting to track the person's moves. The cameras, alongside the weight sensors on the shelves, will determine the products that the customers take with them.
Amazon, however, will not be using facial recognition technology in the Amazon Go store, which is a good move, as it may scare away shoppers who are very conscious about their privacy.
Among the products that can be purchased in the Amazon Go store include ready-to-eat food, staple grocery items, and Whole Foods items.
How Is It Like To Shop At Amazon Go?
According to early reports on the Amazon Go shopping experience, being a customer at the no-checkout store is a very convenient experience, for people who do not mind having hundreds of cameras overhead tracking their every move.
The Amazon Go tracking technology is said to be precise enough that it will distinguish which customers picked up an item among several people standing near each other. The system will also know if a customer picks up an item but places it back.
With the technology in place, Amazon Go stores barely need any staff, with most working in the kitchen to prepare the ready-to-eat meals. There will still be a handful of employees that will be going around, though, for customers who need assistance or recommendations. There will also be at least one employee at the entrance to help with the operation of the app and to answer any questions before customers start shopping.
There were early rumors that Amazon is planning to open 2,000 Amazon Go stores, but those have since been debunked. For now, there are no other plans to open more Amazon Go locations beyond the first one in Seattle. Locals can now download the Amazon Go app, but those outside the area may also do so to catch a glimpse of what the futuristic store offers.