Shopping for groceries at Amazon Go works as follows: before a customers sets foot in the store, they need to supply their payment information. Once done, they can enter the supermarket by ‘checking in’ with their phone. Numerous cameras and sensors follow every customers’ move. When one takes an item of the shelf, Amazon’s special software detects the item and and adds it to the customer’s bill right away. If the item is put back, the software immediately deletes it from the bill. This means that when one is finished running errands, there’s no need to checkout or pay, since Amazon’s software has already taken care of this.
This year, Amazon is opening a 1,800-square-foot store in Seattle to test the technology. Although the concept clearly fits a larger trend of automizing retail landscapes we have been witnessing for a while, it remains to be seen what effects it would have on say labor markets and crime rates. Nonetheless, we will be curiously awaiting the results of Amazon Go’s test supermarket.