Amazon Go, Amazon’s supermarket of the future, is facing some technical issues which has forced the company to set back their end of Feb. 2017 opening date. located in Seattle, WA, where Amazon is headquartered, it is currently in its beta version, only open to Amazon employees and beta testers.
Amazon Go’s premise is a new kind of store that does not require checkout. With their Just Walk Out Technology, customers will be able to enter the store with their Amazon Go app, take the products they want, and walk out of the store without having to wait on any checkout line. This checkout-free shopping experience uses the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when products are taken off –or returned to– shelves and keeps track of them in your virtual cart. Once you leave the store, your Amazon account is charged and a receipt is sent through the app.
This brilliant technology sounds too good to be true, and so far it is. The Just Walk Out Technology malfunctions when 20 or more people move about the store, when people move in “quicker motions,” or when items on the shelves are slightly misplaced. This is problematic, as Amazon built their “roughly 1,800 square feet of retail space conveniently compact so busy customers can get in and out fast.” It doesn’t seem like anything will be getting done too”fast” too soon, as the technology cannot handle an overload of customers, especially ones, who are busy and moving at a heightened pace.
Although the technology is not where it needs to be to open, the concept is very exciting. Amazon Go offers ready-to-eat meals and snacks made fresh every day, in addition to staple items and artisanal, local treats. Amazon also features chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits for a quick home-cooked dinner, with all the ingredients included to make a meal for two in approximately 30 minutes.
Although the e-Commerce Giant is getting some flak as it enters the brick-and-mortar world, it seems that Amazon is not discouraged. It is rumored that the company is looking to open VR/AR furniture and appliance stores in the near future.