Supermarket Swipe

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
30 January 2018
New Tech

This week Amazon opened a supermarket from the future

Grab and Go
The Amazon Go store in Seattle is the first of its kind where you can buy items without the need for cashiers or self-service tills. The technology that Amazon has developed could now pave the way for the ‘Grab and Go’ retail experience of the future.

It’s definitely cool. Customers enter the store by simply scanning their Amazon Go app, which has a QR code. Then you can go wild in the aisles. Just pick up and put items in your shopping bag and your Amazon account gets charged as you leave the shop. You’re then sent an electronic receipt, so it’s an entirely contact and paperless shopping experience. Ideal.

They’re watching you
There’s hundreds of cameras and sensors in the store to identify and track items that are taken off the shelves, to make sure you’ve paid for your goods. Their ‘Just Walk Out Technology’ uses a combination of machine learning, computer vision, and AI. The deep learning algorithms could revolutionize the way that we shop, but we’re pretty sure that Amazon will want to keep something this good to themselves.

The only real need for human interaction when you’re in store is if you’re buying alcohol or age restricted items. Imagine that. Perfect for those days when you’ve had a few too many wines the night before, and having to talk or navigate self-service would be the most painful experience.


The store was trialled on Amazon staff last year to iron out any teething problems. A few issues came up with the cameras being unable to identify shoppers that had a similar body shape, or if children (or adults) played around and moved items onto different shelves.

Amazon seems to have worked hard to rectify any issues before the shop was opened to the public, but they’re keeping their cards close to their chest. One journalist reportedly tried to steal a can of drink in the store, but the system spotted it and added to their bill. Only time will tell how impenetrable their technology is…

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