Login

Amazon's Fully-Automated Grocery Store (No-Checkout) Opens Monday

The no-checkout process starts Monday. Here's the concept: Go into a store. Pick up stuff. Walk out.

Nearly a year after it was promised, Amazon.com Inc.’s cashierless convenience store is slated to open to the public on Monday.

The new Amazon Go store, located in the base of Amazon’s main headquarters in Seattle, uses computer vision and machine-learning algorithms to track shoppers and charge them for what they select, thereby eliminating checkout counters.

Amazon announced the new Go store with fanfare in December 2016, and said it would open to the public in early 2017. The opening was delayed, however, as the technology proved more difficult to master than expected, with glitches occurring when too many people were in the store or were moving too quickly, The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2017.

Amazon Go’s technology uses cameras throughout the store to track shoppers once they are inside, though it doesn’t use facial recognition, Mr. Kumar said. A customer entering the store scans his or her phone and then becomes represented internally as a 3-D object to the system. Cameras also are pointed at the shelves to determine interactions with goods.

Concept Issues

How will this concept work with buy-by-the-pound items like fresh fruits and vegetables? How will it work with a superstore with hundreds of people coming and going? What about tracking people in bathrooms?

In the trial, little kids running around picking up items and putting them back in the wrong spot wreaked havoc with the system.

All-in-all, the concept seems more applicable to a 7-11 than a full-scale store.

Yet, I see lots of promise. Forget groceries for a second. Envision an electronic goods store like Best Buy. Load your basket up with stuff and an RFID chip reader sweeps your shopping cart all at once. Poof. Instantaneous checkout.

Yes, there is huge theft potential. For example, people could remove or change tags. But what if the chip is inside the box. Then it's not so easy for theft. In contrast, putting a chip into a carrot that has to be weighed is not quite as easy.

Grocery stores may not be the logical starting point, but that is where Amazon, an innovation leader chose to start.

Over time, the issues will all be worked out. Grocery stores included.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

I think that this is a great concept Now it should be used for voting for elections. We can go to the polls and the AI will determine who we prefer and cast the votes for us?

Well amazon will have another segment of your retail purchase history to store ad infinitum on their massive server farms . On a side note Amazon is increasing the cost of PrIME. Could have smelled that one a mile away.

How is this functionally any better than a store with only self-checkouts? Making self-checkouts work properly would seem a much easier problem to solve than what Amazon is trying to do.

And so the entire sequence of events in Ferguson could be reversed. The computer merely bills the perp, who isn't going to pay anyway.

Failed at COSTCO in Chandler, AZ's Fashion Center Mall Store about a year ago or so.

@Grumblenose

Self checkout still leaves the checkout bottleneck in place. And; critically important in totalitarian cities where “protect the already wealthy and connected at all costs to life and limb of all others” limits on construction, leaves all space, commercial as well as residential, at a premium: It still requires checkout lanes to take up space better used for goods.

In high cost locales like the tonier parts of San Francisco, the space a cashier and checkout lane takes up, costs plenty more than even a fully health insured, augmented minimum wage cashier could ever hope to. Replacing both the cashier, and his work area, with shelves housing organic nanocoffee picked by people who look in suitably cute and hapless and grateful for the marketing man who saved them from being sexually repressed for the homosexuality they were never aware they possessed, is where most of the gains are to be found.

1

I've shopped at Amazon go for the last year (no longer w/ the company), the experience is Awesome... it was one of the things I missed most about moving to a new opportunity in terms of employee perks. I concur w/ Mish, it's currently better suited for 7-11 sized stores, it's about 1200 SQFT. The tech/sensor stack to make it work is massive when you look up its cameras and sensor across the entire ceiling. But they will get cheaper and it will continue to scale to larger and larger formats.

1

It's waaaay better than self-checkout, no stop, just grab items and walk out. They even game the experience by telling you the time spent shopping in the store... I was regularly grabbing lunch and a drink in less than 60 seconds.

How small is the exit door? Is it gated? put one of these stores in Anaheim and watch the stock exit....

Imagine one of these in a singles apt complex as a little 24 hrs a day convenience store. Pop in at any time and grab something to fill the frig before company comes. Almost like having mom there to take care of you.

1

Lol People tend to be honest?? Certainly not in the NYC or Boston.. Most people are honest to the extent so that they won't get caught, but concept will never ever work in the outer boros of NYC or in parts of the Boston area.

And despite what we're told, most people tend to be pretty honest. It's one of those glue things that hold society together.))

No people will screw you over if given the chance. Maybe in Greenwich CT or in Wellesley MA everyone is honest and can trust one another but certainly not at all in most of the greater NYC METRO AREA

I hope it fails.

Why? You don't want convenience?

Shrinkage expense is factored into the cost of doing business, which gets passed along to the customer in elevated pricing. We are all paying for the thieves that Amazon accommodates.

From what i have read Amazon has obliterated Whole Foods right out of the gate. Empty shelves, crappy produce and meat make a bad shopping experience. running grocery stores takes committed experts at the helm to run the operation from store to store. Food clerks are underestimated in their contribution to a good operation.

Boy I hate this board. When you want a paragraph you get a post. Amazon has no idea what it is getting into on the retail grocery side. These stores will never work without machine gun wielding police willing who are ready to use them. They would work if they open them in Saudi Arabia but that is about it. Shrinkage kills stores in bad neighborhoods. That is why they do not open in poor neighborhoods. This concept is a failure. Amazon knows nothing about grocery.

So here's a problem no one else has mentioned. I like to shop at Whole Foods and I refuse to own a smart phone. Looks like Amazon doesn't want my business.

Aldi are taking the big sheds pants down in the UK. They have no online buying or click and collect. Be interesting how Amazon react when they hit the US. By not having web ordering they don't have to pay for delivery vans and screw their competitors on margin. Sometimes keeping it simple pays off.

Stories