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Amazon Go reinvents grocery store: No lines, no cash

It may look like shoplifting, but it's actually Amazon's latest real-world shopping experiment.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier
2 min read
Watch this: Amazon Go imagines the future of grocery stores

"Four years ago we started to wonder: what would shopping be like if you could just walk into a store, grab what you wanted, and just go." That's how a new video promoting Amazon Go begins.

Amazon Go, unveiled Monday, is the latest real-world shopping experience from the online retail giant. Instead of traditional checkout lines and cashiers, the store uses the "world's most advanced shopping technology" to let customers grab what they want, then simply walk out of the store, according to Amazon.

Amazon's been experimenting with brick-and-mortar locations since opening its first bookstore in Seattle last year. It's also created pop-up stores and college pickup locations.

Expanding into physical grocery locations could be a way for Amazon to make buying with the company a more regular habit and help it grow its grocery-delivery service, AmazonFresh. Yet, while Amazon successfully disrupted the retail world by offering speedy shipments right to people's doors, convenience store and grocery pickup concepts already exist, so Amazon has lots of competition.

As explained in the video, the magic of Amazon Go comes courtesy of Silicon Valley's latest wonder words: machine learning, computer vision and deep-learning algorithms.

Customers use a mobile app to enter the store and items are automatically added to their virtual cart as they grab them off the shelf, said Amazon. The technology is even able to recognize when an item is returned to the shelf. When finished shopping, customers leave the store and their Amazon account is charged. "No lines, no checkout," Amazon said.

Amazon Go is currently being tested at a single store in Seattle, said an Amazon spokesperson. It will open to the public in early 2017.