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05 декабря 2018, 03:15

Amazon may be testing cashierless checkout tech for bigger stores

Amazon is testing its cashierless grocery store technology in bigger stores, sources have claimed, potentially paving the way for future casher-free shops that are larger than existing Amazon Go locations. Amazon is allegedly testing this technology in Seattle using a large area designed to imitate a “big store,” such as a full-size grocery store.

Amazon Go stores are relatively small, featuring a combination of grocery items, drinks, and prepackaged food. Unlike other stores, Amazon Go doesn’t feature cashiers, instead using a variety of technology to track what a customer picks up and automatically charge them for it.

Amazon has been slow to rollout these stores, currently only offering destinations in Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco. A new report claims on behalf of unnamed sources that Amazon is testing the technology for use in bigger stores, though, potentially paving the way for larger deployment in grocery stores and other destinations.

The testing is reportedly taking place in a large space in Seattle, though Amazon hasn’t commented on the report. Assuming Amazon does figure out a way to scale up its technology for larger stores, it’s possible we’ll see it eventually arrive in Whole Foods destinations, which are now owned by the Internet giant.

Amazon is already a big threat to brick-and-mortar stores, which have struggled to compete with the two-day shipping and high level of convenience that Amazon Prime offers. Expanding into physical stores — with a futuristic twist — would give Amazon a new way to compete with these other companies, leaving them with relatively little time to adjust.

Walmart has started testing cashier-free checkout technology in a Sam’s Club store, though it doesn’t work the same as Amazon’s alternative. Unlike Amazon Go, where cameras and sensors do the hard work, Walmart’s alternative requires customers to scan products with their smartphone as they put them into the cart. The goods are then paid for with the store’s app; a door attendant scans a code on the customer’s phone to complete the sale.

Of course, there’s another side to the battle — the consumer. Not all customers like the idea of a cashier-free shopping destination, particularly older shoppers who may be uncomfortable with the technology. Systems like Walmart’s, for example, would require customers to own a smartphone, a requirement that a small pocket of the population continues to resist.

The report claims that Amazon anticipates opening more Amazon Go stores in the future. It’s unclear whether the same technology found in these stores will ever deploy in larger destinations.

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/amazon-may-be-testing-cashierless-checkout-tech-for-bigger-stores-03556698/