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Amazon Scrapping ‘Just Walk Out’ Technology At Fresh Stores

Amazon Scrapping ‘Just Walk Out’ Technology At Fresh Stores

Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times ,

Amazon is ditching its “Just Walk Out” technology that allows customers to shop and leave stores without having to visit a typical physical checkout, company officials have confirmed.

An Amazon Fresh grocery store in Irvine, Calif., on Feb. 26, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Instead, the Seattle-based company will replace the technology with smart carts, also known as “dash carts,” through which customers can skip the checkout line.

That technology, effectively a scanner integrated into a shopping cart, also provides additional benefits, such as allowing consumers to scan their items as they shop and see their spending in real time via an onscreen receipt.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the change in a statement to USA TODAY, noting the decision will only impact Amazon Fresh locations—the company’s online and physical grocery stores—and not Amazon Go convenience stores.

The company said it is also keeping Just Walk Out technology in place at a small number of Fresh stores in the United Kingdom.

In addition, the decision will not impact the more than 130 third-party retailers that Amazon partners with across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada for its Just Walk Out technology across locations including cafes, airports, stadiums, entertainment venues, conference centers, schools, and more, the spokesperson said.

The decision was made following customer feedback, the company official noted.

How ‘Just Walk Out’ Technology Works

“We’ve invested a lot of time redesigning a number of our Amazon Fresh stores over the last year, offering a better overall shopping experience with more value, convenience, and selection, and so far we’ve seen positive results, with higher customer shopping satisfaction scores and increased purchasing,” Jessica Martin, Amazon spokesperson, told the publication.

We’ve also heard from customers that while they enjoyed the benefit of skipping the checkout line with Just Walk Out, they also wanted the ability to easily find nearby products and deals, view their receipt as they shop, and know how much money they saved while shopping throughout the store,” she said.

According to its official website, Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology— first rolled out in 2016—allows consumers to “enter a store, grab what they want, and get going” by scanning their card or hovering their palm over an Amazon One device when they enter the store.

They are then able to leave without having to visit a formal checkout, thanks to cameras, sensors, and deep-learning artificial intelligence (AI) that track consumers visiting the stores.

The technology is used not only in Amazon’s own physical stores but also in third-party retail, travel, and stadium environments, the website states.

However, the technology hasn’t always proven to be reliable, with some customers complaining that it often took hours to receive their receipts after leaving the stores, according to reports.

Customers shop at the United Kingdom’s first Amazon Fresh supermarket in London, on March 4, 2021. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Technology Behind Amazon Dash

Lawsuits were also filed over the technology that accused Amazon of failing to notify all customers who entered its Amazon Go stores that cameras were collecting and storing their biometric data.

Amazon currently operates more than 40 Fresh grocery stores across the United States, the majority of which are in California, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington state.

Approximately 27 of those stores have Just Walk Out technology and will transition to Amazon Dash Cart, according to the company. The remaining stores already use Amazon Dash Cart, the retailer said.

According to its official website, Amazon Dash Cart— first unveiled in 2020—is a smart cart that can be accessed by customers using a QR code on their Amazon app.

The technology uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion technology to scan items placed in and removed from the carts and shows real-time receipts of all items in the cart via an attached screen. After purchasing their items, customers can simply exit the store through the Amazon Dash Cart lane and their payment is processed using the credit card associated with their Amazon account.

Consumers will still be able to pay at a traditional checkout with a cashier or use the self-checkout machines, Amazon noted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Thu, 04/04/2024 – 05:45

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