There’s a lot of eagerness about Amazon Go, the company’s new kind of grocery store that allows customers take what they need and leave without waiting. An Amazon patent filed in 2014 offers us a hint of how this could all function. It is a new type of store featuring the world’s most innovative shopping technology.
Four years ago Amazon started to wonder what would shopping look like if you could just walk into a store take what you need and go. What if they could pile the most advanced machine learning, computer vision and AI into the very fabric of a store? So you never have to wait in line. No lines, no checkouts, no registers.
Amazon Go: A Store Featuring the World’s Most Advanced Shopping Technology
With Amazon Go all of this will become possible. Use the Amazon Go App to enter the store then put away your phone and start shopping.
Get whatever you need. Anything that you collect will be automatically added to your virtual cart. If you change your mind about something just put it back. The technology will apprise your virtual cart automatically.
How will it work:
The company has used computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion much like you will find in self-driving cars. It is called Just Walk Out Technology.
As soon as you get everything you need you can just leave. When you leave the Just Walk Out Technology adds up your virtual cart and charges on your Amazon account. Your receipt is sent straight to the app and you can keep going.
The patent defines a system where cameras could capture you as you walk into the store, then recognize who you are based on an ID card that’s related with your Amazon account. Facial recognition can also be used. Cameras could also follow you around as you steer the passageways to see where you’re looking and what things you pick up.
It’s worth mentioning that these are all just ways Amazon could implement the technology. It is not the absolute version of what is going to be done in-store, which has only released in beta to Amazon employees. As it will come in early 2017.
Still, the patent does designate fundamentally everything the company teased with its announcement. So it looks rather close on how Amazon Go will work in practice. If you’re still inquisitive you can go through the patent here.