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Amazon's cashier-free grocery store finally opens to the public

By midian182 · 22 replies
Jan 21, 2018
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  1. After more than a year of testing and a major delay, Amazon is finally opening its cashier-free grocery store to the general public tomorrow. ‘Amazon Go’ promises no lines, checkouts, or registers thanks to its “Just Walk Out technology,” which allows shoppers to pick up items from the shelves and leave.

    Amazon unveiled the shopping experience in late 2016, but only select company employees could use the 1800 square-foot store in Seattle during the long beta phase.

    Shoppers simply need to open the Amazon Go app on their phone and scan a QR code on the entry turnstile, at which point the store’s electronic arm barriers open. Anything that is picked up off a shelf is added to a virtual cart. Don't worry about changing your mind: it’ll be removed from the cart should it be replaced. Once a person leaves the premises, the total price of the goods is charged to their associated Amazon account; they’ll also receive a receipt.

    The technology uses a combination of machine learning, computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion that Amazon says is similar to what you’d find in self-driving cars.

    The store was supposed to open to the public in March last year but Amazon decided to delay this timeline. The system reportedly had trouble tracking everything once there were more than 20 people in a store. It also struggled to monitor some items when they were moved from their designated spots on a shelf. But Amazon insists the delay was due to excessive demand from its own employees.

    Tomorrow morning will see the store finally open its doors to everyone. The company says Amazon Go is a limited test, but it’ll be interesting to see if the technology starts appearing in Whole Foods, the organic-food store chain Amazon acquired for $13.7 billion in June last year.

    Amazon said it will still hire staff to stock shelves and make prepared items in its stores, but, as is always the case with new forms of automation, there are fears the technology could lead to job losses for some of the near 1 million people working as grocery store cashiers in the US.

    Permalink to story.

  2. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,609   +574

    No piercings, tattoos, green hair and colds. Sounds good to me
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,458   +2,145

    You have a point but I'd prefer those annoyances over unknown charges showing up on my credit card and then spending hours on hold trying to fix it.
  4. plus you would have to check the receipt. Did I buy a week ago two boxes of Tide Pods or just one.....you know keep one and give the other one away to eat.
    captaincranky likes this.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    And there goes that darn Jeff Bezos, down in flaming hypocrisy . He passes himself off as the great creator
    American jobs, as he opens a robot grocery store(s).

    Gee, I guess they'll be no paid vacation, no paid maternity or sick leave, and certainly no health care insurance for the robots.

    Where will those monies go, you ask? Why right into Mr. Bezos pocket of course.

    Why do a few of you always insist on arguing with me when I say, "most to all corporate CEOs are sociopaths"?
    Evernessince likes this.
  6. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,426   +1,588

    Seems really easy to **** up orders, and easy to scam. What is to stop you from using a burner phone to trick amazon's systems?

    they'll pass it off as "people can improve themselves without having to worry about minimum wage jobs" because they dont understand how economies work. Until getting a job is near impossible, nobody will realize that the non-skilled workers are being condemned to poverty.
    captaincranky likes this.
  7. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,215   +2,677

    They will have to beef up security to prevent shoplifting.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    Ah c'mon guys, "The Suicide Girls" provide some of the most entertaining erotic art photography around. You do know those tattoos and piercings aren't only in places you normally see, don't you?
  9. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,413   +2,690

    There's really no incentive for corporations to not automate. Businesses aren't going to take the tax money they save this year and think "hey how can I help the average man?", they are going to take that money and think "hey how can I make even more money". In order to get to the position of CEO, you do have to be money crazy.
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Several month's ago the Canteen Vendor has hit our Break room with their version of automatism system. No need for a cashier being paid min wages to sit and wait for one of us to go into the break room and make a expensive purchase. I don't use any of these services but it's coming to more places than you think. Costco break room has one in place there too. To me is it progress or is just the way we have to live. Jobs gone yep you already seen that at the bank auto teller no need for than 3 live tellers when you can use auto teller machine aka ATM. No need to drive up and talk to a teller you can do everything you want from the drive through auto teller machine. More than two of these machines are at most banks 2 inside and 2 outside at the drive through. Walmart has Scan 'N Go you scan and you go when you done. Target has their Quick Cart etc.. Everyone doing it Cashiers are going to be history soon.. So there is my 50 cents to this..
  11. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,426   +1,588

    Until someone figures out how to fool these automated systems, then stores will have to hire security guards at a higher wage then cashiers to make sure nobody is stealing.

    These automated systems seem to backfire at large scale so often.
  12. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 282   +169

    I guess that's why many corporations (AT&T, WalMart, Comcast) are giving bonuses and wage increases across the board...because of the tax breaks.
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    I am not into fooling these systems but power failure would be one if there is not backup generator the the prime location. We have backup where I am at. More like a good buddy system. The system has 360 degree cam to watch your movements with sensors so there is no way to fool the system. The prices for the items is way to expensive for me to even to consider buying the items. I rather bring in my own thanks. Let the Head SM use the system because he's the only one with his EX Adm. We have Security Guards already. You can't leave without paying anyway. Other retail stores there is one Cashier for self-serve. There are CU Banks were their are no tellers, no bank agents and only one info admin at each location. So the bank is 95% automatic. I do not bank at such location. Feels odd that there is no bank personal there. Just one person to oversea everything. You have to call someone up if you want to open account with them. Since there isn't anyone there to see you. LOL
  14. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Addict Posts: 117   +57

    At the end the only one with a job is gonna be jeff bezos.
  15. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Maniac Posts: 289   +169

    The smug hipsterness of those 'customers' turned me off. And that girl throwing things into her orange tote bag just seemed wrong.
    toooooot likes this.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,413   +2,690

    Oh, you mean the 1000+ employees AT&T and WalMart just layed off each? Yeah, figure that. Oh yes, Walmart's "$1,000" bonus for employees who have been with the company for 20+ years will be great for all the 3 employees who can take advantage of it. /s

    Even if we did assume that these companies were to "trickle down" on their employees it would still only amount to a measly 3% of the total money they saved. 3% efficiency is pathetic.

    Do you even read the fine print? Why don't you shoot more false rhetoric my way so I can debunk that too.
  17. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 282   +169

    So if you ran a business you would keep stores open that did not make money?
    JamesSWD likes this.
  18. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,413   +2,690

    See, this is the part where you make a strawman argument. I never said anything about the closing of stores.
  19. Fresh & Easy didn't last too long. What will make this chain work? Put these stores in the hood and watch people walk out with cartloads of unpaid merchandise.
  20. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 282   +169

    I feel sorry for you.
  21. lostinlodos

    lostinlodos TS Booster Posts: 138   +24

    Except for one thing! I tend to not shop at stores that don’t have a self checkout. I check out faster than the employees do. I don’t put eggs on the bottom of the bag under 6 cans of soup. I don’t place pizza and fresh salad on it’s side. Did I mention I check out faster than employees do?
    I don’t know about no checkout. I use scan and go for Walmart/Sam’s. Which is even faster than self checkout. But I’m not sure I’m ready to give up total control to AI.
  22. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,413   +2,690

    Can't say I care much for how you feel about me. It's about the facts.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,370   +3,599

    Nor do I. But, only large stores have self checkout, and they, in almost all instances, have better prices.

    Save for all the relentless and needless bragging, I tend to agree with you.

    Lord knows, who wants to get stuck behind some mutt in the, "15 items or less" lane, who has 100 packages,, and a fistful of WIC checks, and all ineligible items, and their Access card either won't scan, or is empty.

    However, any store I'm aware of, has human cashiers, for people who aren't as fast, clever, or dexterous as yourself.

    But this is the most important. Most to all of those self checkouts, are union concessions, to allow senior cashiers to obtain pay raises. The self checkouts do indeed, take the place of human employees, but collaterally allow humans already employed, to remain so.

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