This morning Amazon took the wraps off of a brand new type of convenience store that doesn’t require cashiers. Thanks to machine learning, Amazon plans to open physical stores that allow you to walk in, grab whatever you need, and head on out without ever taking out your wallet…
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Almost a year ago Google introduced a payment method called Hands Free that would allow you to go to a retailer and pay for your purchases without swiping your credit card. Hands Free used near field technology that would allow your phone to communicate with the cash register while your device remained in your pocket.
With Amazon Go, you walk into one of the stores, scan your phone so that the store can identify you, and then you walk around the store picking up products that you would like to purchase. Using machine learning and sensors placed around the store, simply picking up items around the store adds them to your virtual shopping cart. When you then leave the store, Amazon will charge the items to your account and send you a receipt.
For now, Amazon employees have access to the store through a beta program but the roughly 1,800 square foot brick and mortar retailer should open in 2017. Amazon hopes to roll out more of these store across the US in the next decade.