The “soft opening” of Amazon Go in Seattle, scheduled to happen this month, was just postponed due to technical glitches. Amazon is confidant the bugs will be work out and citing the most notable of which is if more than 20 customers are in the store at one time, the system seems to get confused. As the issues get resolved the pilot store will have no cashier, no checkout lines and the only employees you’ll ever see are the ones that come around once or twice a day to re-stock the shelves. That of course is controlled by proprietary software that knows what items have left the store so a robot fills the plastic dumps and loads them on a van to replenish the shelves at the store. Amazon uses the same proprietary software to utilize facial recognition, cameras, sensors and algorithms to watch customers and track what they pick up. If you change your mind and don’t want to leave the store with an item, just put it back on the shelf and it’s subtracted from your cart. It stands to reason that real humans will be monitoring the process from a central location to insure nothing goes wrong.
The added bonus of the Amazon Go stores is there will be no deep fryers on the premises so you won’t come out of the store smelling like soggy french fries and day-old burritos.