Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) changed the retail game as online bookseller and then affiliate virtual mall that has helped to push the trend towards e-commerce. They continue to succeed as innovators in the business but also are looking for more ways to grab market share, particularly in the physical world.
As such, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has just unveiled its Amazon Go real-world grocery store. Now, that might sound sensible for a company that has been moving forward in both digital and physical business. What makes the Amazon Go concept so interesting—and potentially paradigm-shifting—is that there are no cashiers or checkout lines. As a matter of fact, you don’t even both checking out, or paying. Instead, you grab what you need and walk out of the store with your itemized order posting to your Amazon account.
Experts agree that the Amazon Go concept is very likely the future of retail but, of course, this is just a flagship program for now.
Of course, there is only one Amazon Go location so far. Not surprisingly you will find this store in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle. It is only about 1800 square feet of perishable goods like bread, cheese, milk, etc. You can also find a few pre-made snacks and fresh meals. The company says that all you need to shop there is the Amazon Go app on your phone. Simply enter the store and begin shopping.
At least, that is the hope. The store will not be available to the public until early next year. For now only Amazon employees can shop their, during an in-house beta test.
So how does it all work?
Well, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is not revealing to much about this “Just Walk Out Shopping” experience. Still, they have dropped some buzzwords, perhaps, to start piquing interest: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. These are all technologies that have come to the forefront of industries over the past few years.
But while a lot of this sounds like some kind of futuristic hope more than an actual reality, computer vision experts and retail tech specialists agree that the system Amazon is advertising is certainly plausible—even with the current (and still limited) artificial intelligence capabilities, RFID technology, sensors, and machine learning technologies available.