Well, it took a long time, but guess what? Amazon’s automated convenience store is finally ready for the public. The company has confirmed that the Amazon Go store attached to its new Seattle headquarters will be open to non-employees on today. This is over a year later than planned.
You’ll have to scan in with a smartphone app when you enter the store. A computer vision AI system tracks the items you remove from the shelves, and you can walk out without talking to a cashier or using a self-checkout machine. The only staff that will be there are for ID checking when buying alcohol, and for the kitchen. The store is finally ready for prime time.
The focus is on ready-to-eat meals, drinks, meat, produce, snacks and Amazon’s own meal kits. The speed is the big draw. You can be in and out quickly with a good meal. It will take seconds if that is all you have. They are not talking about more stores just yet. That will depend on how well the technology works. The AI will be tested with a busy store, and there will be moments when customers have second thoughts and put a product back on the wrong shelf. Things will have to shake out.