It appears that Amazon’s cashierless store concept, Amazon Go, is almost ready to go, according to a recent report by Bloomberg News.
For the last year, Amazon employees in downtown Seattle have been testing the experimental convenience store concept.
If you’re not familiar with the Go concept, the ambitious idea is that consumers can enter the store, make selections and exit the store without standing in line or interacting with salespersons or cashiers.
Here’s how it works:
- Upon entering the Go store, shoppers scan their smartphones.
- Cameras and shelf sensors then work together to determine which items have been removed from the shelf and who has them.
- This eliminates the need for tracking devices like RFID chips.
- When the shopper exits Go, the algorithms total the order and bill the customers Amazon account.
The report states that test employees have tried their best to fool the technology. In one instance, three Amazonians wore bright yellow Pikachu costumes and walked around the store, grabbing sandwiches, drinks, and snacks. The algorithms still figured it out, according to a person familiar with the situation. The employees were correctly identified and their accounts charged for the merchandise, even though they were hidden under a veil of yellow polyester.
The store concept was unveiled last December, and was expected to launch this year, but ran into some technical issues and postponed the launch. However, it’s been reported that teams working on the project have recently switched from engineers and research scientists perfecting the platform to the construction managers and marketers who would build and promote the stores to consumers.