Amazon's automated checkout is coming to full-size supermarkets
By Matt Day, Bloomberg
via Messenger-Inquirer (KY) - Apr 27, 2021
Amazon.com is poised to bring its automated checkout technology to full-size supermarkets, a significant milestone in the race to revolutionize how people buy their groceries.
Planning documents for a store under construction in Brookfield, Connecticut, contain all the hallmarks of an Amazon Fresh grocery store: a two-word logo on dark gray panels above the store’s entrance, online order pickup counter and such full-service departments as a butcher. The plans also identify a dozen entry and exit gates as well as ceiling-mounted racks to run wiring to camera arrays, a setup that until now has only appeared in Amazon Go convenience stores.
Shoppers enter those locations by swiping a smartphone at the entry gate. Inside, they’re tracked by cameras, software algorithms and shelf sensors-then charged for what they take when exiting through the designated gates.
Amazon appears to have solved a significant technical challenge, creating a grab-and-go system that can handle scores of shoppers at once and cover large supermarkets without being prohibitively expensive to build and operate. The breakthrough, if it works, would catapult Amazon ahead of rivals, which are testing similar camera-based technology developed by various startups. Executives at these companies have acknowledged that they are perhaps a year or two away from installing cashierless systems in full-sized supermarkets...