Amazon became the retail giant it is today by luring consumers away from brick-and-mortar shops with a massive online selection and cheap shipping. Now, Amazon has its own physical store in Seattle where people can pick up groceries and just walk out, and it’s open beginning today. The cashier-free store has been in beta for the last few years, but Amazon now says its automated technology is ready for primetime.
The “Amazon Go” shop was opened in late 2016 as a beta only for Amazon employees. The store was supposed to be live for everyone just a few months later, but clearly the technology backing Amazon Go was harder to perfect than Amazon anticipated. There are no cashiers in the Amazon store, but it doesn’t just have a self-checkout lane like a lot of stores these days. The store promises “no lines, no checkouts, no registers.” Instead, Amazon Go uses sensors to figure out what items you take, and charges you for them as you leave the store — Amazon calls it “Just Walk Out” technology. It might feel like shoplifting, but it’s all on the up-and-up.
Amazon Go uses machine learning and computer vision to track customers inside the store, many of the same technologies employed in self-driving cars. Customers simply scan a barcode from the Amazon Go app as they enter the store, and the system begins tracking their location and activities. As you leave, your virtual shopping cart is processed, charged to your preferred payment method, and Amazon sends you a receipt.
Past reports claimed the system would go haywire when people set an item down in the wrong spot. Presumably, Amazon has found a way to fix that glitch. Things tend to get moved around a lot in retail. Additionally, Amazon Go does have some real employees who prep ingredients for pre-made food items and stock shelves.
For now, Amazon only has the single 1,800-foot store in Seattle — this is still mostly a test for the technology, but it’s a public test. The company says it has no plans to launch Just Walk Out technology in Whole Foods, which the company bought last year for almost $14 billion. Curiously, that move made Amazon the second largest private employer in the US behind Walmart. Amazon has long invested in automation, which reduces the number of jobs in its facilities. More than 3.5 million Americans work as cashiers, almost a million of them in grocery stores like Amazon Go.
Latest Intel GPU Drivers Now Automatically Optimize Games For You
Intel has released a new driver update, 15.65, that can automatically detect and configure certain games for best performance on Intel integrated graphics.
Microsoft Automates DNA-Based Data Storage
In 2018, humanity created 33 zettabytes (that's 33 billion petabytes), and that number will rise to about 175 zettabytes by 2025. Some computer scientists are worried that our ability to create data will eventually outstrip our ability to store it, so Microsoft is looking at ways to store that data in DNA.
Microsoft Kills Automatic Registry Backups in Windows 10
Microsoft used to perform regular backups of the registry, but that has now officially ended in Windows 10. If you want to save the registry, you'll have to manually re-enable the feature.
Learn How to Automate Tasks with This Microsoft PowerShell Training
Microsoft PowerShell is an award-winning automation and configuration framework that allows users to streamline an endless number of tasks, and the Microsoft PowerShell Certification Bundle will teach you everything you need to know for over 95% off at just $19.