In case you miss it, today sees the launch, finally, of the cashierless store that is Amazon Go in Seattle.
The premise is simple. This is a store where you an only gain entry if you have previously downloaded the Amazon Go app – a digital key which opens the London underground station-style gates and proves that you are willing to allow the retailer to dip into your wallet via your phone and extract cash.
Practically, this means that as soon as an Amazon Go shopper removes an item from the shelf it is placed in a virtual shopping cart and when the customer exits the requisite amount of money is removed from the customer’s bank account. This sounds like a revolution, when it is considered just how frustrating a checkout can be, but apart from this the store looks, for all the world, like a well-managed convenience store.
Appearances can be deceptive however and banks of cameras are watching shoppers as they progress around the store, but like the best new tech it may ease the process of shopping, but is largely invisible.
The store itself is located at the base of the tower that Amazon might term its head office. Should be handy for employees in a hurry.