After a lengthy delay, Amazon has finally opened the doors on its ‘store of the future’.
The new store has no checkouts, allowing customers to “grab and go”, by combining computer vision enabled cameras, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion technology.
Known as Amazon Go, the store opened to the public on Monday on the ground floor of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.
Amazon compares the technology used in the store to that used on an autonomous car.
Vice president of Amazon, Gianna Puerini, said the technology can make shopping “effortless and magical.”
Shoppers simply download the app, scan their phone upon entry and start shopping.
Items taken off the shelves are added to a virtual cart, before customers are sent a receipt and charged to their Amazon account – combining the online shopping experience with the real world.
There are no shopping carts inside Amazon Go, instead shoppers can bag their items as soon as they take them off the shelf.
The shop sells everything you’d expect to find in a typical grocery store, from cheeses to chocolates.
While the technology removes the need for cashiers, there are still some staff working in the store, including one person situated in the alcohol aisle to check IDs.
After beginning work on the site in 2012, the 1800 square foot concept store was first opened to Amazon staff in December of 2016, with plans for it to be opened to the public in 2017.
The delay in its public opening was said to be due to technical issues.
While the Seattle location is the only publicly-known store, the new technology could be the beginning of Amazon’s next wave of retail disruption.
Last year Amazon acquired high-end American grocery chain Whole Foods for $US13.7 billion.
Although it is not expected to deploy the grab and go technology in any Whole Foods stores anytime to soon, if the Seattle store is a success, many American grocery cashiers could find themselves out of work.