Amazon launches app-powered physical convenience store with no checkout lines
Amazon has shown it will try just about anything to get its stuff into consumers' hands, whether it's via internet-connected Dash buttons around your house, drones and even old-fashioned physical stores. The monster retailer's latest take on the brick-and-mortar store is called Amazon Go, a convenience store without check-out lines that works via a mobile app.
Amazon announced that the first Go store is currently in beta test in Seattle, and will be open soon to the public. An Amazon smartphone app is required to get into the store. Once you're in, tons of sensors keep track of what you take off the shelves. When you're done shopping, you just walk right out and the total is charged to your Amazon account.
The company calls the setup "Just Walk Out" technology. It also involves computer vision and machine learning, and it can even detect when an unwanted item is returned to a shelf, so you aren't charged for it.
There are roughly 1,800 square feet (167 sq m) of retail space, which is somewhere in between a large convenience store and a small market. The company calls it "conveniently compact so busy customers can get in and out fast." The store stocks grocery staples alongside ready-to-eat meals and snacks, Amazon meal kits to make at home, and even local chocolates.
Notably, Amazon has not mentioned plans to open other Go stores outside of Seattle just yet. The lone physical store located just north of the city's downtown is currently open to Amazon employees during testing, and will open to the public in 2017.
Check out how it works, in the promotional video below.