Amazon see a future for real world shops where there are no checkouts and you just walk around collecting what you want and then walk out. They announced Amazon Go in a Youtube video this afternoon.
So here’s how it works. You have the Amazon Go app on your phone and you check into the store as you arrive. You then start filling your shopping basket from the shelves. Various bits of wizardy (such as motion sensors, cameras and the like) detect what you put in your basket and tot up your shop on the app as you go along. They’ll even detect when you change your mind and put items back on the shelf.
When you’re done shopping you just have to leave and Amazon Go will automatically charge your account for your groceries. Pretty neat. Amazon Go will launch at 2131 7th Avenue in Seattle, USA in early 2017.
This is fascinating stuff, and on one level just takes the self-checkouts that we’re all familiar with, to a logical end point. In typical Amazon style its success lies in its simplicity and ability eliminate pain points in the shopping process. The prospect off no more queuing in the shops is a particularly attractive notion.