No More Grocery Cashiers? ‘Amazon Go’ Open
Amazon will open its high-tech grocery store to the public this week after a year of beta testing the no-checkout technology on employees. Amazon Go allows shoppers to simply take whatever they want to purchase and leave, eliminating the need for lines or cashiers. The concept store is slated to open Monday on the company’s Seattle campus after the original launch planned for early 2017 was postponed due to problems with the technology, CNBC reports. According to the store’s website, the shopping experience at Amazon Go begins with an app customers scan on their phones to enter the store. “Then just browse and shop like you would at any other store,” the site says. “Once you’re done shopping, you’re on your way! No lines, no checkout.”
Rachel Metz of MIT Technology Review writes that Amazon Go “might take some getting used to” for customers. The 1,800-square-foot store uses “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning” that Amazon says is akin to tech found in new driverless cars. It all makes for a very hands-off experience on the part of store employees. It “feels a little weird,” writes Metz, adding that the experience was “seamless and quick,” if “unnerving” with so little human interaction. In addition to questions about user experience, some have wondered about what sort of impact Amazon Go might have on the workforce. CNBC notes that some 900,000 cashier jobs in the US are in grocery stores, all jobs that could become unnecessary should Amazon’s concept catch on. For now, Amazon said it has no plans to implement the technology in its recently acquired Whole Foods stores.