No supermarket check-out. No cash exchanged. Just place those apples in your cart and let technology do the rest.
Two prototype supermarkets are now operating in the United States, run completely by robotic tools and the most sophisticated technology yet seen in a supermarket.
At the entrance to the supermarket, you are asked if you would like to sign in with the palms of your hands or a QR code. These are then instantly linked to the shopper’s Amazon account.
As you shop, placing eggs, cereal, or anything at all, into your shopping cart, cameras and sensors record your every move. Anything taken off the shelf by the customer is automatically added to a virtual cart, anything put back comes out of the virtual cart.
At the end of the trip, all you have to do is simply walk out, waving a palm or QR code, over the exit turnstile and the bill later appears on your Amazon account.
No cash supermarket
The system is called Just Walk Out and uses similar technology to driverless cars. Amazon teamed up with the supermarket chain Whole Foods for this experiment, and the first supermarkets – one in Washington DC and another in Los Angeles – are reporting that some customers are enjoying the ease and convenience, others don’t appreciate the scrutiny of all the cameras, and the lack of the personal touch at the check-out line.
“We’ve always noticed that customers didn’t like standing in check-out lines,” explains Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology. “It’s not the most productive use of their time, which is how we came up with the idea to build Just Walk Out.”
Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology is being offered currently to other global retailers. Stand by to see more soon.
Lucy Broadbent is a British author and journalist based in Los Angeles. In a remarkable career spanning three decades, she has met and written about some extraordinary people, many of them Hollywood’s most famous. Writing reportage as it relates to social and cultural reality has been an equal privilege, and has sometimes even proved itself useful in terms of effecting positive change. Lucy has two novels published, one of which was short-listed for a prize. Currently she is writing a non-fiction braided narrative book about what it means for a child to grow up living with type 1 diabetes, and what it means for a parent who must help them. Lucy is a contributor to The Carousel, Women Love Tech, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Stella, Style, The Daily Mail, Marie Claire (US, UK, Australian editions), Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Net-A-Porter, and a host of other publications. Currently, she is also a regular contributor to www.happy-Ali.com the online news site which is making its name for positive news.