The news on the automation front is happening so quickly it’s kind of hard for me to keep up (I wrote my last post on the topic, what, this morning?). The latest is “Amazon Go,” advertised as “the world’s most advanced shopping technology.”
You simply go to an Amazon “brick and mortar” store, pick things up off the shelf, and it’s *bought*. So, as the tagline goes, “no lines, no checkout”:
Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt.
It’ll be super-easy to onboard customers of Amazon Go, because all you need is an Amazon membership. The first store will be located in Seattle, and opens 2017.
So there you go, “the world’s most advanced shopping technology”—next year. It’s all happening pretty fast, folks. The video below does show human workers at Amazon Go (in particular, the guy cutting the bread for your swanky sandwiches), but you’d imagine they would need far less of them than a “non-advanced” supermarket.
Still—if you had the chance to avoid all human contact, shove stuff in a bag, and get the hell out of there, would you take it?