Amazon's New Store Lets You Pick Up Items and Walk Right Out

Amazon introduces "Just Walk Out Shopping."

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Retailer Amazon today announced what it believes could be the next major shopping innovation. Amazon Go, described as the "world's most advanced shopping technology," is basically an app-assisted grocery store with no checkout lines. Here's how it works: you walk into the store, sign in with an Amazon Go app, and then proceed to shop for whatever you want.

Picking up an item adds it to your virtual cart (no scanning is shown in the announcement video) while putting it back removes it. This is possible through "computer vision," "sensor fusion," and unspecified "deep learning algorithms." Amazon is calling it "Just Walk Out Shopping." When you leave the store, the Amazon Go app runs the numbers and charges your credit card.

There is only one Amazon Go store in existence right now. The 1,800 square foot location is in Seattle, Washington, and is only open to Amazon employees, at least in the initial beta-testing phase. The store will open to the public in Spring 2017.

Amazon Go's store is stocked with ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack items. Food is said to be made fresh every day by on-site chefs or brought in from Amazon's "favorite local kitchens and bakeries." It also sells staples like bread, milk, and cheese from well-known brands, while Amazon is also stocking the store with unspecified "special finds."

There are some unanswered questions about Amazon Go, like if non-Amazon Go members can shop there. A variety of beers are shown in the announcement video, but there is no word on how Amazon Go would verify the age of a buyer. There is also the question of if other companies will get into the cashier-free grocery shopping business and what that would mean for retail jobs.

You can read more about Amazon Go on its website.

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