It’s now been a few years since Amazon first opened its Amazon Go store, and there are now locations in the US and London.
When Amazon has been returning his physical appearancethe company appears to be in Go and Fresh stores, so we can expect to see more coming around the world.
They all have one thing in common – unlike most stores, there are no registers or cashiers. When you sign in, choose what you want, and sign out. Amazon calls it ‘just-out’ shopping.
Here’s everything you need to know, including how it works.
What is a ‘just out’ store?
Amazon described the original Amazon Go store as “a new type of store without a check-out”. The first Amazon Go in Seattle was a small store with an area of about 1,800 square meters and it is this small form that is decorated elsewhere.
When you shop at one of these stores, you don’t have to wait in line. The store works with the Amazon Go app for iOS or Android: You enter, pick up the items you want and, thanks to the app, just leave. The app is linked to your Amazon account for payment.
There are two types of Amazon Go stores in the US:
- Amazon Go: Serves breakfast, lunch, and snacks of all kinds that are ready to go
- Amazon Go Grocery: Make, ready dinner, and household essentials
And there are similar stores in London, but in the UK they are called Amazon Fresh.
These stores operate using the same types of technologies found in self-driving cars, such as computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning.
This technology can detect when items are taken from or returned to the shelves and store them in your actual cart. When you leave the store with your product, your Amazon account is charged and you are sent a receipt.
Where can you find these stores?
Outside the US, Amazon operates 19 New stores in London, you can find your nearest store Here. UK Amazon Fresh stores offer daily essential ingredients, local favorites and seasonal produce. Some stores also offer ready meals.
Various reports suggest that up to 30 stores could be opened in the UK and rumors suggest that the founding partner is Morrisons – indeed the Amazon Fresh store has many Amazon-brand grocery products that may have originated there. Amazon and Morrisons are already working together on the Amazon Fresh online delivery service.
According to the source report The Wall Street Journal, Amazon hopes to one day open 2,000 retail stores and other products. These stores can have several forms.
How does it work?
To get started, you need an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and a free app. You scan the app when you enter the store to get through the cycle. Then you drop your phone and start shopping – picking things up, putting them in baskets or bags (without scanning anything). You can just log out when you’re done.
You don’t need to check and you can change things at any time.
The app has a navigation bar at the bottom with four graphical tabs: Key, Receipts, About, and More. The Checkout screen appears to bring up a QR code that the store automatically processes to let you in, while the Receipt screen shows what you bought after you left.
‘Just Walk Out’ tech
Amazon is using artificial intelligence, computer vision, and data from multiple sensors to ensure that customers are only charged for what they collect. Cameras are used to monitor items taken from the shelves.
A patent application issued by Amazon in early 2015 they revealed more technical details. The patent described a store that would operate using cameras, sensors, and/or RFID readers to identify shoppers and their products.
There is also mention of “facial recognition” and user information, which may include user photos, user details such as height and weight, biometrics, usernames and passwords, and even purchase history.
We are not sure if this patent application describes exactly the final iteration of the Just Walk Out technology. However, it is a camera tracking system and should also use some form of AI to follow you around the store.