"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.
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.