Amazon claims to have opened the world’s most advanced grocery store in Seattle on Monday, January 22, 2018. The store is automated, without cashier, which means no lines and no check outs for customers.
The cahier-less grocery store measures 1,800 square feet and offers ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks made by Amazon chefs or sourced from local small businesses.
The highly advanced store only allows people who downloaded the store’s smartphone app, the Amazon Go, on their recent-generation iPhone and Android phone. The app is free and can be found on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore.
Aside from using the Amazon Go app to enter the store, customers can put their phones away while they shop. Once done shopping, they can simply leave the store. Their Amazon account gets automatically charge as soon as they went out the store.
Asked about the rationale behind Amazon Go, the company explains that it wants to push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go.
“We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)”
Asked about the possibility of rendering million of cashiers jobless in the future, Amazon tells The New York Times that it “just put associates on different kinds of tasks were we think it adds to the customer experience.”
The New York Times notes that there have been more than 3.5 million cashiers in the US in 2016 alone. Luckily for Amazon Go employees, they are re-assigned at tasks like restocking shelves, troubleshooters for technical problems, and customer service like the one employee who check I.D.s in the wine and beer section.
Amazon Go may be the first to open the doors to a cashier-less grocery store, but a Swedish startup and a Chinese university take the game up a notch with their autonomous supermarket that travel to customers. The Moby Mart, created by Wheelys, a Stockholm-based crowdfunded startup, and tech firm Himalafy, has a holographic human face that greets costumers and assists them while shopping. The company is now in beta-testing but no words are out yet when it will be used by the public.