Amazon's High-Tech, Cashier-less Grocery Store Delayed
Amazon's plans for convenience stores without checkouts or cashiers have taken a knock. Initial test show the system doesn't work properly if more than 20 or so customers use the store at once.
The Amazon Go store works through a dedicated smartphone app and a technology similar to that used in hotel minibars. When a customer picks up an item from the shelf it will automatically be added to their virtual shopping cart (as well as their real one), though if they put it back on the shelf it will be removed.
Instead of paying for the items at the check out, the customer simply walks out the front door with the items they shopped for. That triggers a sensor and the system charges the items they kept to their account, then sends a digital receipt to their phone.
Moving Groceries Causes Glitch
A test version of the store already exist in Amazon's home city of Seattle, and has been used by the company's local employees. However, the Wall Street Journal reports there are some technical problems, which means Amazon is delaying a public launch indefinitely.
One problem is that there's only a certain number of people who can use the store at the same time before the system is unable to keep track of them all. Another problem is if people pick up an item and then put it back on a different place on the shelf, the system can't always work out what it is when another customer picks it up. (Source: theverge.com)
Virtual Reality Boosts Furniture Store
The company hasn't been deterred from exploring physical retail, however. Sources have told the New York Times it is working on a home furnishings and appliances store that uses virtual and augmented reality. As well as physically inspecting the items, customers would be able to use their phones to see virtual images and video of how the items would look in their actual homes. (Source: nytimes.com)
Amazon is also said to be working on dedicated stores for its gadgets such as the Kindle eReader, Fire Tablet and Echo Digital Assistant. These stores wouldn't be a new concept but rather would be modeled on Apple stores, complete with "expert" staff to provide advice and possibly a support and repair center.
What's Your Opinion?
Would you shop in a cashier-less store if the technology can be worked out? What's the biggest cause of delays when you grocery shop: checking out, or choosing items in the first place? Does the virtual reality feature for furniture stores sound useful or just a gimmick?
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