Have you ever dreamt of jogging down to your nearest supermarket, buy the things and reach home? That too without any queues, checking out counters and most importantly paying at that instant? Then it will soon be a reality as Amazon is trying to open supermarkets (maybe smart markets) where all the things mentioned above happen.
The stores announced will soon be opened in the US and then making their way slowly to the remaining countries. Before knowing more about this, you have to watch the future of shopping from this video
The stores do not have any cashiers or counters but just the goods in well-organized aisles. Shopping in the Amazon Go stores is simple.
- Go to the Amazon Go store
- At the entrance, the Amazon app on your phone is used for entry
- Pick up all the things you need and they are automatically added to your cart
- Termed as "Virtual Cart," every product taken and put back is scanned accurately and added to the cart
- After shopping, you simply just leave
- After you exit, the cart is added up and your Amazon account will be charged along with a receipt
How Does It Work?
Amazon calls the technology that aids in the whole process as Just Walk Out" technology. Pretty funny right? The whole process is typically possible due to the following:
- Computer Vision
- Deep Learning Algorithms
- Sensor Fusion
Even though Amazon did not release any information on this magic, adding up the mentioned technologies give us a slight picture.
- Amazon App will play the key role in this whole process
- The app on your phone will start tracking once it is scanned
- The racks on which items are placed are equipped with sensors and computer vision that detect any movement in that particular rack sending a signal to the app and amazon at the same time
- The presence of your phone will link the items to your cart most likely
- Therefore, adding and removing from virtual cart happens instantaneously
Although this is a ultra-simplistic explanation of Amazon Go working, this will be the working to the most extent. Also, the thing that is confusing is that how the technology detects and separate multiple individuals shopping very closer. We can leave all this to the experts and wait for the answers.
Plan of Action
Amazon also got permission in UK and Europe as regulators confirmed Amazon trademarks. Eyeing to launch the stores soon initially in the USA, the company trademarked four slogans:
- No Lines, No Checkout. (No, Seriously)
- No Queue, No Checkout. (No, Seriously)
- Every Queue is a Defect
- Every Line is a Defect
The first store will be opened in the coming months though it was first expected a March release but canceled due to technical problems. Amazon is also looking towards other countries for expansion.
Amazon is continuously pushing to make our lives smarter with its fancy technology. But are these stores feasible in real life? With almost no staff to maintain (excluding the loading and unloading of products), can it be possible? Time will tell everything. What do you think? Is it crazy?