Walls and ceilings that monitor.
As the company explains on its website, its new supermarket uses "the most advanced purchasing technology in the world" and the "most sophisticated systems of machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence".
And that translates into hundreds of infrared cameras and electronic sensors that monitor each of their customers from the ceiling to identify and control the products they select, says Chris Johnston, a BBC business reporter.
Those cameras were put to the test with Amazon employees over the past year to see if they could differentiate the movements of customers inside the store and those of the products, especially those with similar appearance.
The shelves are also full of sensors that indicate if any of the products has been removed (or if it has been returned). And many carry a code that makes it easier for cameras to identify.
Invoices, electronic, of course, are sent to users credit cards once they leave the store.
Without human interaction and with "virtual" car.
To enter the shop, buyers must go through doors similar to those in a few meters and slide their phone through sensors.
All you need to do is scan a QR code, a two-dimensional bar code to enter the store.
This technology did not exist before. It is a real breakthrough
Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go
Through an application - "Just Walk Out" - Amazon customers can select any of the food products they see on the shelf and enter them directly into their shopping bag.
The car or the basket of the purchase does not make sense in this supermarket (it is "virtual"), unless you need to provide your identity card to buy alcohol and other products with age restriction (that is, practically, the only human interaction in your shopping experience).
There are also no people to monitor your movements: the sensors perceive if you leave a product and automatically delete it from your bill. Although if you need to ask for advice, there are employees at your disposal.
There are also no shopping carts or baskets: each buyer chooses what he wants without having to pay for it.
The company says that this technology is similar to that used by some cars without a driver, especially with regard to automatic learning algorithms and sensor fusion.
"Fast shopping has been 'the future of retailing' for some time," says Johnston. "But now Amazon believes that its time has come, or at least that it is ready to put it to the test all over the world."
Amazon did not offer any information on how accurate its technology is.
"But what we do know is that they are able to catch the less honest ones." A New York Times reporter tried to steal cans of soda, but the system detected it and added it to his account, "says Johnston.
Without tedious rows.
Amazon has not yet confirmed whether it will open more Go stores or whether it will introduce this new technology in Whole Foods, the US supermarket chain specializing in organic foods, which it acquired last year for nearly US $ 14,000 million.
Making the supermarket queue a thing of the past will give any retailer an advantage over its competitors.
"However, retailers know that the faster their customers shop, the more likely they are to come back," explains Johnston.
"Making the dreaded supermarket queue a thing of the past will give any retailer an advantage over its competitors," he adds.
This is not the first incursion of Amazon - which started selling books online - in retail.
In 2015, the company opened its first physical library (also in Seattle, where it has its base). Now there are about 13 Amazon stores in the United States, plus dozens of "pop-ups" (temporary), which also sells electronic devices and small gifts.
Some analysts say that Amazon uses its stores to promote its Prime service, which works with a membership.
Brian Olsavsky, Amazon's chief financial officer, recently announced (last October) that his rivals will see more Amazon stores in the coming years.
"They will see an expansion, it's still early ... those plans will develop over time."
What is Amazon Go?
Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no checkout required. We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)
How does Amazon Go work?
Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Our Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll send you a receipt and charge your Amazon account.
Where is Amazon Go located?
Our store is located at 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, near the corner of 7th and Blanchard.
When can I visit?
We're open 7AM—9PM, Monday through Friday.
How big is the store?
Our roughly 1,800 square feet of retail space is conveniently compact so busy customers can get in and out fast.
Do you have any people working in the store?
Yes. Our great team of associates works in both the kitchen and the store to prep ingredients, make our ready-to-eat food, stock shelves, and help customers. (Need a product recommendation? Ask an associate!)
Why did you build Amazon Go?
We asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout? Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go? Our answer to those questions is Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping.