After a year of testing reserved for employees of the company, the first store Amazon Go has just opened to all in the city of Seattle. To buy a bottle of water for example only takes a minute in hand.
It is almost a year late, but the opening of Amazon’s first box-free supermarket took place on January 21st. This is the shop opened for a year in beta to only employees of the company. It is located on the ground floor of Amazon’s new headquarters on Seventh Avenue in Seattle, Washington.
According to Recode, the store looks like a classic 7-Eleven, a type of supermarket very common in the United States. There are salads, sandwiches, drinks or some prepared dishes. The only difference comes from the total absence of crates at the exit of the store, replaced by simple porticoes.
One minute to buy a bottle of water
The journalist from the American site explains that buying a bottle of water took only one minute: entering the store, taking the bottle in the department and leaving the store. The item was then billed to her Amazon account.
To achieve this, the system combines several technologies: rays that detect when a product is carried by a customer and cameras to determine the identity of the latter. The opening to the public will be a real test of fire for the process that will demonstrate its reliability when the store will be crowded.
A generalization of the system in supermarkets?
Moreover the lack of boxes does not imply the total suppression of employees: some are there to help customers in case of technical problems, others to put products on the shelf and finally some to ensure safety.
This life-size test is very important for Amazon, which has been working on this project for five years. If the technology proves successful, other stores of this kind could open in the United States. Above all, the company could equip those of Whole Foods, a popular chain of food shops, recently bought by Amazon.
Finally, some people already imagine that the system could even be sold to competitors and would become the rule in supermarkets in the next few years. A life without ever queuing at the checkouts.