- Tram Ho
In the fierce competition to completely change the way Amazon shop, Amazon’s move is certainly a milestone. But the technology of automatic payments has also sparked controversy over Amazon’s efforts to eliminate supermarket cashiers and cause thousands of people to lose their jobs.
The automatic payment system will be deployed in Amazon supermarkets
The planning documents of a supermarket under construction in Brookfield, Connecticut reveal Amazon’s ambitions. The planning documents show that this supermarket under construction has 12 entrance gates, with racks on the ceiling to install the camera array, currently only Amazon Go, a convenience store owned by Amazon, has similar equipment. .
Customers only need to swipe their smartphone at the door to enter the shopping supermarket. Cameras, software algorithms and sensors on store shelves in supermarkets can track customer behavior in real time. When customers step out of the supermarket from the specified gate, the system will automatically interrupt image data.
Amazon seems to have solved a major technical challenge, by developing a system that checks dozens of shoppers at once. This type of automatic checkout technology can completely meet the needs of large supermarkets, while development and operation costs will not be too high. If this breakthrough succeeds, Amazon will outstrip its competition.
Currently, many of Amazon’s competitors also experiment with similar camera-based technologies developed by several startups. The executives of these companies admit that it may take another year or two for them to deploy automatic payment systems at major supermarkets.
The supermarket cashier is one of the most popular jobs in America. But promoting the automatic payment technology can cause criticism that Amazon is trying to get rid of the job of the supermarket cashier. According to Amazon, this Just Walk Out technology is intended to facilitate shoppers, rather than deliberately reducing labor costs.
Construction permits and related reports show that, after the first Amazon Fresh supermarket in Southern California, Amazon has opened 12 supermarkets and 37 Amazon Fresh supermarkets are under construction in the US. However, with the exception of Amazon Fresh in the Chicago suburbs and the Amazon Go convenience store chain, the rest of the supermarkets have yet to adopt an automatic payment system.
Instead, Amazon developed the Dash smart cart. As shoppers move between shelves, sensors and cameras record purchased items. This type of shopping cart technology can’t achieve a seamless shopping experience like Amazon Go, and shoppers can only use traditional trolleys to deliver goods to the parking lot.
For years, Amazon has worked to simplify the Just Walk Out system to save money, while also attracting other companies to use the technology. Even so, even if it only opened a small convenience store, Amazon also asked engineers to develop automatic checkout technology suitable for supermarkets covering more than 3,000 square meters.
The supermarket under construction in Connecticut covers an area of about 3,000 square meters, and includes a warehouse, office space and a temporary storage area for online ordering. The shopping mall should be covered with cameras that are about 2,000 square meters in size. This space is 3 times bigger than supermarkets using Just Walk Out technology today, so automatic payment solution can solve Amazon’s human resource problem.
Last year, Amazon launched an identity system that allows shoppers to “wave” to pay. The system is called Amazon One and is deployed in convenience stores, bookstores … in the Seattle area and is planning to continue to expand elsewhere.
Source : Genk