Amazon tests checkout free food store

amazon-goOnline retail giant Amazon is testing a new type of physical store in the US that promises no lines or check outs.

Amazon Go, located near downtown Seattle, offers ready-to-eat meals, snacks and pre-packaged meal kits to shoppers who have an Amazon account, a supported smartphone and the required store app, according to the company’s website.

The new 1800sqft store incorporates a checkout-free shopping experience, which the e-commerce giant said was made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning.

Its ‘just walk out’ technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When shoppers are done, they can leave the store and shortly after be charged on their Amazon account.

A video posted to YouTube shows Amazon Go shoppers using a mobile phone app to enter the store, then pulling items from shelves and adding them straight to their bags. Items picked up are tallied automatically in a virtual shopping cart, according to the video.

The technology even updates if an item is placed back on the shelf.

The shop is currently only open to Amazon employees but will open to the public in early 2017, according to the site.

Amazon opened its first physical store, Amazon Books, a year ago in Seattle.

The company now has bookshops in San Diego and Portland, Oregon, with locations expected soon in Chicago and just outside Boston.

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