Checkout free shopping for those who hate to queue
You've trawled the aisles and filled your trolley but now you've got the dreaded queue for the checkout. It's always busy and you always end up in line behind the person who seems to have all the time in the world for a chat with the cashier whilst you hastily checking your watch figuring out if you'll get back to the car before the meter runs out. Shopping can be stressful, perhaps no more so than when it's for routine daily essentials rather than anything 'special'. Well, there is a solution... if you live in Seattle at least! Amazon have launched the first supermarket where you just walk out. No queuing to pay, just leave.
Amazon Go combines innovative technology to track the shopper's movements throughout the store, monitoring what they put in their basket and, just as importantly, what they've change their mind on and place back on the shelf. All the customer has to do is scan the App on their phone on the way in (linked to their credit card). There are still checks for age-related products like alcohol (a minor could be using a parent's app) but otherwise the rest is handled without the need to even talk to another person.
The technology that makes this possible includes use of 3D modelling to tracking your walk and gait, as well as facial recognition, and there's a raft of cameras linked to controllers and sensors all around the store. There's an enormous amount of data collected on every single shopper. Combined and stored in huge data centres, this forms part of the big data that can predicts customer demand, determining what should be ordered in what quantity to match consumer demand; yet on an individual level, it would be linked to a customer's Amazon account giving additional re-marketing opportunities for online purchases. At this stage it may just be incentivising the purchase of an item picked up off the shelf but not placed in the basket, but it could also lead to something even more personal - using the analysis of a person's walk or posture to suggest health-related purchases, or promote other third-party services.
Whilst no information is publicly available on the accuracy of each transaction, it has been in test phase for over a year to iron out any bugs. It seems to rely on an item being returned to the same shelf it was picked up from (and we all know, that's not always how it works in a supermarket) but it could be a real alternative to online grocery shopping - quick, easy and instant! They even email you the receipt as you leave the shop.