The future of convenient and grocery stores is skyrocketing as the American public watches the first automated, brick and mortar store open on January 22 in Seattle, Washington. The new, excitingly innovative Amazon Go is opening as planned. Certain established retail businesses have attempted to update their stores by creating ultra-modern interiors, but they neglected to renovate the structure of the technology, and this is where Amazon Go starts.
Amazon Go has been working on this new concept, a totally automated store, for over four years. Amazon has been “working out the bugs” since 2016; in 2017, Amazon bought out Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash, and, yes, that’s billion, in anticipation of Amazon Go opening this year.
How Does It Work?
In order to charge the customers and automatically bill to their Amazon account, there are literally hundreds of tiny cameras working together to monitor the customer. These cameras are extremely high-tech, and the store runs on a smartphone app. Each customer must have this app downloaded on their phone, but then, they can put their phone away because everything is automated. It happens because the state-of-the-art technology extends to each item, on each shelf. When a product is picked up, it is charged to the owner. If the owner of the app returns the item, it is deducted. This is the ultimate technology that is overtaking the present retail purchasing system of this century.
Still Working on Some Details
Some of the bugs include monitoring groups of people, like families, who move about the store. Children, who are naturally smaller, cause some confusion for the cameras when they pick up items and place them somewhere else or eat them in the store. The computers that manage the store have been “wigging out” when the store gets overloaded, and the people are moving too quickly. Another issue detected was when two customers come in together, so Go is tweaking this issue by having Amazon employees go into the store in pairs when they are on lunch break.
The software that Amazon Go is using is extraordinary. It had to be able to differentiate between brands and sizes with details even humans can’t distinguish. The technology in the software that Go has developed has such acute attention to detail that it can detect and discern a human being even if they are wearing a Pikachu costume! Amazon Go is moving at warp speed to bring automated retail to the world.