According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com introduced its checkout-free technology in a large grocery store, called Go Grocery, in Seattle on February 25. As with the 25 smaller Go convenience stores located throughout the United States, the new 10,400-square-foot Go Grocery store has no cashiers. Instead, it uses an array of cameras, shelf sensors, and software to allow shoppers to pick up items and walk out without stopping to pay or scan merchandise. Shoppers’ Amazon accounts are charged automatically once they leave the store.
At the new Go Grocery store, customers can take unpackaged produce items such as pears or apples, which are sold per item rather than per pound, and walk out. The system’s cameras are particularly important for fresh produce that requires regular misting, such as lettuce, which makes it more difficult to use weight sensors, according to Amazon.
The retail giant hopes the Go Grocery store will serve to showcase its technology as it seeks to sell its system to other businesses. The revenue model, be it a fixed licensing fee or a revenue-sharing agreement, has yet to be decided, and Amazon has not commented on plans for more Go Grocery stores. However, Amazon has confirmed it will debut a new grocery chain—with human cashiers—with the first store planned for the Los Angeles area this year.
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