Amazon has opened a new physical shop which it calls Amazon Go and hopes will be the future of shopping. There should be no queuing as all you do is grab what you want and go.
While this sounds like a kleptomaniac’s delight it’s actually smartly managed. The shop, based in Seattle initially, uses Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” tech to make automation of shopping simple.
You use your phone’s app to tap in using a QR code on screen as you enter the shop, it then updates as you pick up items, thanks to sensors. Even if you pick something up and then change your mind and put it back the app will update to suit. Then you just leave the shop and you’ll see the final charge on your Amazon account pop up on screen.
The first Amazon Go shop is a grocery shop with about 1,800 square feet of space. It sells all sorts as Amazon describes:
"We offer delicious ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made fresh every day by our on-site chefs and favourite local kitchens and bakeries. Our selection of grocery essentials ranges from staples like bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates. You’ll find well-known brands we love, plus special finds we’re excited to introduce to customers. For a quick home-cooked dinner, pick up one of our chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits, with all the ingredients you need to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes."
How does it all work? Amazon says it uses a combination of artificial intelligence, computer vision and data pulled from many sensors to track what’s been taken.
Amazon Go is currently open to Amazon employees in beta at the Seattle shop. This should open to the public in early 2017.