Back in December, Amazon unveiled its vision for the grocery industry: Amazon Go. A concept store in Seattle with no lines, checkouts, or registers, all thanks to its “Just Walk Out Technology,” which lets shoppers pick up goods from the shelves and leave.
Amazon says the system is made possible using machine learning, cameras, computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion similar to what is found in self-driving cars. It may be virtually removing the human element from the store, but there’s one area where employees are still needed: checking the IDs of people buying alcohol.
Recode’s Jason Del Rey spotted a flyer in the store’s window that mentioned an application for a liquor license. Amazon confirmed its store would start selling beer and wine, and it will have someone there to make sure buyers are legally old enough to purchase the alcohol.
“When we start offering beer and wine, there will be an associate checking identification,” wrote an Amazon spokesperson.
Customers use the store by scanning the Amazon app as they enter. Anything taken from the shelves is added to their account’s virtual cart. You can even put items back if you change your mind and it will be removed from your online cart. Once you leave the store, you’ll be billed through your account - just like when purchasing directly from Amazon.com.
The store is currently in a testing phase and is restricted to employee visits only. Amazon says it will open to the public in early 2017.