Amazon just reinvented the supermarket


    Amazon Go is a brand new, unique shopping experience located at 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street. Currently open to Amazon employees in a Beta program, the revolutionary supermarket will open to the public in early 2017.

    So what makes Amazon Go so different to the supermarkets we know? There’s no lines, no checkouts and like Uber, there’s no cash. Just like exiting an Uber, you simply leave the store and the payment is done automatically, technology you really are a wonderful thing. By the time you get a few steps out of the store, you’ll get an email receipt for your purchase.


    The last big innovation we seen in supermarkets was self-serve checkouts, but Amazon have gone well beyond that, no making that process of scanning per-item barcodes look ridiculous.

    So here’s how the magic works. Amazon have lined their roughly 1,800 square feet supermarket with cameras layered with computer vision technology to monitor your movement through the store and then exactly what you remove from shelves. Because you scan in on the entry to store, your purchases are automatically added to your virtual cart, until you leave the store where the cart is transferred into a transaction on your Amazon account. With your connect credit card charged for the amount of goods you picked up in-store, Amazon has just solved shop lifting.

    The only question that remains is what happens if you don’t scan in. Well clearly there’s cameras everywhere, so there’s no hiding and its likely there is still going to be a couple of security staff in-store to make sure you do.

    This is seriously disruptive technology and Amazon are unique positioned to introduce it. Not only are they experts at the distribution of product, experts at handling digital transactions, but their cloud infrastructure allows them to process in real-time the insane levels of data coming from in-store cameras and sensors.

    Is it possible we could Coles or Woolworths copy this in the future in Australia? Maybe, but they’re starting at such a disadvantage. Think about the opportunities of knowing who your customer is at the entry to the store, rather than when they swipe a loyalty card on exit. Displays in-store could specifically target specials or recommendations to you as you walk the isles. That’s incredibly powerful.

    The only exception to this futuristic shopping experience is fresh food. This currently requires you to weigh and nominate the items you have. In Amazon Go’s description of what’s available at the store, you’ll notice it sounds awfully like everything is pre-packaged. There will be a solution to the fresh items, like packaging them into specific groups, much like eggs are currently handled, but currently it sounds like you’ll be getting that elsewhere.

    What can I buy at Amazon Go?
    We offer delicious ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made fresh every day by our on-site chefs and favorite local kitchens and bakeries. Our selection of grocery essentials ranges from staples like bread and milk to artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates. You’ll find well-known brands we love, plus special finds we’re excited to introduce to customers. For a quick home-cooked dinner, pick up one of our chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits, with all the ingredients you need to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes.

    More information at

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


    1. Surely it is not just computer vision but anti-collision RFID as well? This concept is cool, would be good to see how successful it is in reality. i.e. do they every loose a product, are products charged incorrectly etc etc.

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