How does Amazon GO, its checkout-free store, work?

Imagine if you could shop at your local supermarket, without having to queue at checkouts to pay for your groceries. If you live in Seattle, this is something you’re now able to experience. In January 2018, the first in the world checkout-free store opened doors to the public, operated by technology giant Amazon. Based in Seattle, US, the store uses Amazon’s advanced shopping technology developed with the idea to reduce lines at store checkouts. The futuristic grocery store trialled by the web giant is packed with hundreds of cameras and tracking devices, so customers can stroll while logged into an app, pick up the goods they want and simply walk out.

What is Amazon Go?

Amazon Go is the first store of its kind where no checkout is required. Customers simply enter the store using the Amazon Go app to browse and take the products they want and then leave. The store is partially-automated, with customers being able to purchase products without using a cashier or checkout station.

How does it work?

Amazon has developed a Just Walk Out shopping experience, which uses the same types of technologies used in driverless cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning algorithms. This technology automatically detects when products are taken from or return to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. So, when you’re done shopping, you just leave the store. But how do I pay you may ask? Once you’ve left the store, Amazon will send you an email receipt and will charge your Amazon account.

How do I shop there?

All you need is an Amazon account, the free Amazon Go app, and a recent-generation iPhone or Android phone. You can find the Amazon Go app on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon App Store. So, you’d only need your phone to enter the shop.

To enter the store, you simply scan the Amazon Go app’s barcode at the turnstiles. From that moment, cameras and sensors identify you by your Amazon account as you browse through the store. An interesting fact is that the system charges the grabber – you grab the item, you buy it. So, if you hand something over to your friend to buy, you will be the one paying for it.

Do you have any questions on how this checkout-free technology works? Let us know by posting a comment below or tweeting to us @JustAskGemalto.