Imagine being able to walk into a store, shop around, find the items that you want, place them into your basket, and when you are finished making your selections, you simply walk out of the store, knowing that everything you grabbed was accounted for and paid for right as you leave the store. Sounds like a scene from the future, does it not? Well, welcome to the future, folks, because we’re here now.
Amazon is currently in the process of trying out this exact concept at a testing store in Seattle, Washington. Customers, upon entering the Amazon Go supermarket, will open the Amazon App on their smartphone, and swipe it across sensors located at the front of the store. Now that the customer is logged in, they can freely move about the Amazon Go store, putting items of their choosing into their shopping baskets. Each time a customer lifts an item off of a shelf, using Amazon’s state-of-the-art Just Walk Out technology (which includes machine learning, sensors and artificial intelligence), the customer’s Amazon app recognizes it and places the item into their virtual cart, while the customer places the item in their actual cart/basket. If the customer decides against buying that product, all they have to do is set the product back onto the shelf where they found it and it will automatically be removed from their virtual cart. Once the customer has selected all of the items they desire, they can simply walk out of the store and be on their way, while the app charges their Amazon account for the price of the goods they left with. All you will need to shop at an Amazon Go store is an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and the free Amazon Go app.
According to Amazon, they will "offer delicious ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made fresh every day by our on-site chefs and favorite local kitchens and bakeries. Our selection of grocery essentials ranges from staples like bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates. You’ll find well-known brands we love, plus special finds we’re excited to introduce to customers. For a quick home-cooked dinner, pick up one of our chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits, with all the ingredients you need to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes." Sounds perfect for everyone who doesn't have a ton of time to shop, but still wants healthful, high quality groceries and meals for them and their families.
The very first Amazon Go location is located at 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.
At the moment, only Amazon employees in their Beta program are allowed to use the Amazon Go store; however, if everything goes according to plan, the Seattle location will potentially open to the public in early 2017. No additional information is yet known about Amazon's plans for expanding into additional cities and states.