Amazon Tests Cashier-less Shopping Tech At Whole Foods

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Amazon is bringing its “Just Walk Out” shopping technology to two Whole Foods stores, giving the retail giant the opportunity to test the cashier-less payment system in a larger retail space. Implemented in stores in Washington, DC, and Sherman Oaks, California, the system allows shoppers to skip the checkout line by early 2022.

Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion.

Amazon first introduced the “Just Walk Out” system in its first Amazon Go store in 2016. It uses computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning to eliminate checkout queues.

As soon as customers enter a Whole Foods store, they have three ways to use the “Just Walk Out” system: they can scan the QR code in the Whole Foods Market or Amazon app, hover their palm using Amazon One, or insert a credit or debit card connected to their Amazon account.

Once this is done, customers can simply pick up what they want, check out in the same way as they checked in, and then leave. Their credit cards will then be charged for transactions, and they will be able to find a receipt in the Whole Foods Market app.

One of the weaknesses of the Amazon system is that customers have to have an Amazon account. It is also not available to shoppers who want to use another payment method, such as cash, prepaid cards, food stamp benefits via an EBT card or gift card. These shoppers have to go through self-service checkouts instead.

Amazon also said last Wednesday that if the feedback was positive, it could extend the “Just Walk Out” system to other Whole Foods locations.

Since launching its first Amazon Go store, Amazon has deployed “Just Walk Out” in stores in the U.S. and U.K., and has made the cashier-less system available to third-party retailers.

For more information, read the original story in ZDNet.

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