Introduction to Amazon Go
A new way to do your grocery shopping is approaching. Come next year Amazon is starting a Grab and Go Grocery store by Amazon Go. The main idea is to offer customers a Checkout-Free Shopping without cashiers and long line queues. Amazon is announcing the future of retail shopping experience with no fumbling for a credit card while people wait behind you.
Amazon Go is an automated grocery store that uses latest tech solutions. As it’s said on the official Amazon web site, they’ve implemented a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms and computer vision. This new way of shopping riddles most of the experts, leaving everyone with a question: “How did they do it?”
Grocery shopping explained
So how does Amazon Go store actually work? First of all, you need a smartphone capable of supporting Amazon Go app. This app connects to your Amazon account, which you use to pay for goods you buy in the store. This app is also your pass into the Amazon Go, you use it to check-in when you enter the store. After you have checked in, there is no more need for your phone. Once you’re in, you are free to pick up what you need and leave whenever you want without wasting your time. There’s no checkout counter, you just walk out, and your Amazon account gets charged for the amount on your bill.
Computer vision and sensor fusion technology are tracking people in grocery stores as they browse and pick up products. Once the product is picked up from the shelf, the store adds it to your virtual cart. If you decide to return a product, it’s automatically removed from your cart, also. All the time, you’re being tracked and all of you picked up and returned products are being tracked and processed by artificial intelligence. This is all the information that Amazon GO shared with the public at this time.
The public opinion regarding whether the Amazon experts have accomplished to go through all the possibilities concerning this revolutionary way of shopping is not clear. Some think that Amazon has accomplished the impossible and some think that there have to be some major flaws in this system.
The view of the Retail Shopping experts
Major field experts also have their doubts about Amazon’s latest enterprise. Most of these doubts come from lack of insight into the technology behind Amazon Go grocery store. Brant Franson, CEO of Euclid Analytics states that one of the major issues that Amazon has to overcome is not charging a customer for a product that a customer didn’t buy. Regarding that issue Franson said that a solution to this problem would have to be a product of some groundbreaking new technology.
Co-Founder and CTO of RetailNext, Arun Nair, stated that there are can be an issue with the products that the customers need to pay on weight. Also, he pointed out that those who shop in groups would have to be able to have a single card. Still Nair believes that Amazon might be able to overcome such issues.
The science of it all-what’s that new tech?
Many people are asking what happens if a customer returns a product on a different shelf. Amazon has submitted a patent that allows customers to leave a chocolate bar next to a soda bottle and leave without getting charged for the chocolate bar. Once you pick up a product and leave the transition area, Amazon automatically associates that product with you. But if you return the product and leave the transition area without the product, the store removes it from your cart.
The answer might surprise those who are asking if there would be a way to fool the facial recognition systems and take advantage of that. According to some science and tech magazines, a science team has managed to find ways to fool facial recognition software using some very creative thinking. These guys might have found ways to manipulate facial recognition scanners with glossy frames. This is something Amazon Go people have to think about if they don’t want to face a lot of problems in the future.
Amazon Go Beta testing
And while the public asks questions and journalist point their views about Amazon Go, this retail store is going through Beta testing. At this time Amazon Go is available only for Amazon employees.
Before Amazon will open the store public, in early 2017, Amazon’s employees are shopping in order to test the store. The location of the store is Seattle, where Amazon Go laid all the infrastructure in 1800 square feet of space. And only a few types of products available in that space. When the store goes public we should expect expanded infrastructure and more space in Amazon Go stores.