Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Amazon Go app hits Google Play just ahead of Seattle store opening

Amazon Go app hits Google Play just ahead of Seattle store opening

The 1,800-square-foot store is in the ground floor of Amazon's new Seattle headquarters complex.

MSNBC reports that Amazon is testing the concept on a limited basis and has no plans of implementing the technology in Whole Foods.

On the back-end, Amazon's technology detects everything you're taking or returning to shelves, and keeping track in a virtual shopping cart. Then you just walk out.

Starting Monday, January 22 at 7am, Seattle residents that have the Amazon Go app installed on their smartphones will be able to walk into the store and pick items off the shelf, place them in their basket/bag, and pay for them without ever having to interact with a casher or scan your items at a kiosk.

Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, said in an interview that the store worked very well throughout the test phase, thanks to four years of prior legwork. All of their purchases would be charged to their accounts automatically. The store's technology can tell when you've grabbed a product or have returned it.

He also doesn't expect it to show up in Whole Foods stores, the high end grocery chain Amazon bought a year ago.

A large, full-service supermarket, which typically carries around 38,000 items, would be a very different and hard problem from the small size and limited selection offered at Amazon Go.

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Amazon Go is the company's most ambitious effort to change the way people shop in stores and a play for the struggling $550 billion (U.S.) convenience-store industry. "But the quality is what will get them to come back".

Above, hundreds of cameras, painted matte black to blend in with the ceiling, are trained on every potential space, capturing movement.

"The coolness of the technology will undoubtedly get people to check it out", he said.

A shopper scans a phone app linked to his Amazon account to enter the store in Seattle, Washington.

With the exception of a back corner where a guy was stationed to check customers' IDs before they grabbed a bottle of pinot grigio or a six-pack of beer, nobody really seemed to be paying any attention to us.

How possible hordes of new customers will interact with Amazon staff now used to grabbing a fast lunch remains to be seen.

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