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In brief: Amazon’s rollout of its cashier-free “Just Walk Out” technology is continuing at a slow but steady pace as the e-commerce giant has announced that the option to skip checkout lines will be coming to select Whole Foods Market stores next year. Only two supporting stores have been revealed thus far, as Amazon wants to evaluate customers' reaction before expanding further.
Amazon started testing its cashier-free checkout technology years ago. Through a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, customers can shop in-store as they normally would and when they’re done, they simply walk out with their goods. Purchased items are automatically tallied and billed to their payment method of choice, and you’ll even get a digital receipt.
The first store to utilize the tech opened to the public in 2018 following a lengthy closed beta test among Amazon employees in Seattle. Expansion hasn’t happened as quickly as some might have hoped, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from cashing in on the tech.
Back in March 2020, Amazon started offering the tech to other retailers. Interested parties could get up and running with the tech in as little as a few weeks, with Amazon providing all of the necessary software, hardware and tech support.
As for its expansion into Whole Foods Markets, Amazon said the first stores to get the tech will be located in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood and Sherman Oaks, California. These are the only two locations that have been announced thus far, and the Just Walk Out tech won’t be available in them until sometime next year.