Amazon Go Is a Go

Allyssa Gauer, Columnist

Imagine an entrance with glass doors and high-tech gates as you walk in. A store filled with goods on every corner. Throughout the store lay hidden advanced technology, cameras, and sensors, all creating a futuristic experience. Picture people, overflowing amounts, yet no cash registers or checkout lines. But this isn’t contained just in your mind, Amazon had made this a reality. Located in Seattle, the new store, Amazon Go presents a new way of shopping- an original and innovative way, that could be the future of all stores.

The entrance itself is lined with state-of-the-art technology. The New York Times states that shoppers must scan their phone, as proof that they have acquired the Amazon app and currently have an account signed up, on a platform atop the gate entryway. After the scanner successfully detects the app, the gate swings open and they are clear to purchase what they desire. This technology is similar to those in a self-driving car (“computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning”)  according to Amazon.

Once you have entered the 1,800 square foot store, you are free to roam the aisles of snacks and ingredients for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. There are no carts or carriers to find, only the bag you will exit with, as implied in The New York Times. As you reach to grab an item off the shelf, it scans the item and adds it to your account. However if you happen to decide to put the item back, the technology reads the signal, and removes that item from your account. Amazon also states that even though Amazon Go is completely run by technology, there are still employees working either in the kitchen or the hallways. These kitchen employees are organizing fresh ingredients, ready to restock the shelves, and cooking the premade foods. Other employees are there to help if there are any technological problems or issues.

After the completion of your grocery shopping, you skip the checkout lines and walk through the gates one more time. The sensors then double check that all the items in your bag match the ones in your account, and let you exit. Amazon explains that shortly after shopping you will receive a certain amount charged onto your amazon account, based on the supplies that were in your bag. All you have to do then is press purchase and you have concluded your Amazon Go adventure.

The equipment hidden is so exceptional that it is actually quite difficult to steal anything within Amazon Go. The New York Times implies that even attempting to abduct an item didn’t work. The writer of the article states that she asked permission from Amazon Go employees to see if she was able to steal something. The results were quite astonishing. She said that as soon as she crossed the gates (holding the sensors) they quickly added them to her account, making it so that she must purchase the item. In addition, there are concealed cameras placed throughout the store to watch for anything suspicious.

The Amazon Go store presents a glimpse of what the future could become. Using technology that continuously improves, the world has and will transform, as well as the buildings with it, including the stores and shops.