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Amazon Go Store Uses Tech to Eliminate Cashiers

The concept store uses computer vision and sensors to detect what items shoppers are taking out of the store and then charges them automatically.

Amazon unveiled a new concept for a retail store called Amazon Go, in which shoppers will be able to check out without having to interact with a cashier or wait on line.

Amazon says that the technology that enables the concept includes "computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning." Customers will use a mobile application and scan their smartphones at a kiosk when they walk into the store.

The technology in the store, which the online retailer calls "Just Walk Out," automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When customers are finished shopping they will simply leave the store and shortly thereafter the company will charge the customer's Amazon account and send them a receipt.

The first demonstration of the technology will be at an 1,800-square-foot convenience-style store opening early next year in the company's hometown of Seattle.

Quartz raises the possibility that, if expanded on a wide scale, Amazon's model could eliminate most human jobs from grocery stores. However, one technology investor told CNBC that that is not likely going to come to pass.

"The human beings are really a positive part of the experience," said Roger McNamee, co-founder of technology investment firm Elevation Partners. "I don't expect this to take over the world. It just doesn't seem like an earth-shattering thing."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is testing at least three brick-and-mortar store formats.

Dec 06 2016

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