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Amazon Go in Seattle uses machine learning to replace checkout

Steve Rogerson
January 25, 2018



Amazon Go's new retail store opened its doors this week in downtown Seattle with the promise to revolutionise the way physical stores can operate. There is no checkout so shoppers do not have to queue.
 
This convenience store stocks food in the 170-square metre space. Customers must have the Amazon Go app on their phone, which will be scanned once they enter the store. Technology takes care of everything else in the experience; the lack of cashiers and registers means a more hassle-free time.
 
Customers physically put their items into the bag, and at the same time Amazon puts the item into the cart of their online Amazon account. This works via hundreds of small cameras hidden throughout the store that use machine learning to track items and customer accounts.
 
Once a customer finishes shopping, they can leave through the scanning gates from which they came in and an electronic receipt is sent to the customer. Envisioning and creating the store of the future, Amazon goes for more personalisation and convenience.
 
The store offers ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options made by chefs and local kitchens and bakeries. The selection of grocery essentials ranges from staples such as bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates. For a quick home-cooked dinner, shoppers can pick up one of the chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits, with all the ingredients needed to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes.
 
All the shopper needs is an Amazon account, the free Amazon Go app and a recent-generation iPhone or Android phone. The app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore.
 
When the shopper arrives at the store, they use the app to enter the store and then can put the phone away.
 
An Amazon statement said: “We asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout? Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go? Our answer to those questions is Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping.”
 
This seems to be the trend throughout the retail industry. Cisco recently worked with pizza firm Domino to change the way people can buy pizza. The pizza company says it went through a time of digital transformation and now customers can order food from almost any technology platform, including Alexa and Google Home.
 
Cisco provided the network infrastructure to make this a reality, helping the customer experience become reliable and consistent.
 
Cisco says it is constantly working to make shopping better for customers and retailers alike. By using location analytics, retailers can get the insights needed to analyse the way shoppers behave inside their stores. Location apps can help deliver information to customers' smartphones that are specifically catered to them.