Amazon’s long-awaited autonomous grocery store opened yesterday in Seattle, and people cannot stop talking about it.
Last year, the tech powerhouse began testing the autonomous convenience store — designed to let customers walk in, pick up items, and purchase them without having to stand in line or open a wallet.
Now, after reworking a few technological kinks, the store is ready to… Amazon Go.
The entrance to the cashier-less store was described by The New York Times as “entering a subway station,” with a row of gates meeting customers as they file in. Only those with the store’s smartphone app may enter.
Once inside the 1800-square-foot market, customers are met with the same fully stocked shelves inhabiting any old grocery store.
But with Amazon Go, the difference lies in what isn’t there: customers aren’t met with cashiers or registers, or even shopping carts. The behind-the-scenes technology, while kept largely mum, is said to use the same sensory hardware that powers self-driving cars.
Ok, so what’s the plan here?
Over the past year, the race to unstaffed brick-and-mortars has been largely led by Chinese companies like Alibaba and JD.com, who’ve set the standard with superior technology and more actualized retail strategies.
Amazon hasn’t yet disclosed any such strategy — but it seems hellbent on eradicating the grocery store line.
Unfortunately, if this tweet is any indication, they’ve still got some kinks to work out…