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A store without a checkout line?

Amazon opens a new kind of store in San Francisco

Abdelrahman Fahmy, Author

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Ever wondered what’s it like to just go to the store, get what you want, then leave without waiting on long checkout lines? Well, that’s exactly what Amazon has done with their new store in San Francisco. Amazon is using a grocery store to test out the new service called “Amazon Go” which they claim will go public in 2017. Customers can tap their cellphones on a turnstile as they walk into the store, which logs into the store’s network and connect to their Amazon account through an app.

Amazon Go uses machine learning, sensors and artificial intelligence to track items customers pick up. These are then added to the virtual cart on their app. If they pick up an item they later decide they don’t want, putting it back on the shelf removes it from their cart. Once the customer is done shopping, the app adds up everything the customer has taken and charges them through their amazon account.

Amazon said it began to work on the project in 2012. It is currently being tested by Amazon employees at the location at 2131 7th Ave., near Amazon’s offices, but will open to the public in early 2017, said Amazon via usatoday.com.

According to Phil Lempert, the technology in the store “is amazin,” He’s even more amazed by the multiple images of “meal kits” in Amazon’s video. These “everything you need to cook a quick, high-quality dinner” kits have become popular, but the economics of delivering them has meant they’re difficult to get. Stores such as Amazon Go may provide an opportunity for them. “When you look at the store itself in the video and presumably it is the actual store, they have done a great job of merchandising, and having “meal kits” available is simply brilliant. As the meal-kit industry struggles due to the shipping/logistics aspect,” Phil said.

If Amazon finds Seattle store succesful then they might happily expand their stores worldwide. There might be an Amazon Go store near you in a few years time. With technology advancing this quickly, who knows where we will be next.

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