Rarely does a month go by without Amazon launching a new product or initiative and this time around it's good news for those who prefer shopping in a bricks and mortar building. Here answer What is Amazon Go? How does it work? And will it come to the UK? See also: The complete guide to Amazon Prime.
While Amazon Prime members can shop in the comfort of their own home, getting things delivered within hours, many consumers will prefer getting some fresh air and visiting a proper store where you can pick up products. And that's where Amazon Go comes in.
"Four years ago we asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout? Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go? Our answer to those questions is Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping," said Amazon.
What is Amazon Go?
In simple terms, Amazon Go is a physical store where you can buy various products similar to a supermarket. However, it's not as simple as that.
The idea of Amazon Go is that there are no checkouts, no queues and therefore no waiting around. This creates a 'Just walk out' shopping experience, according to the retail giant. Watch the video above to get a better idea.
Where is the Amazon Go store and when will it open?
If you want to try Amazon Go this Christmas then there's bad news but it won't be long until the Amazon Go store opens as it's due in 'early 2017' for the public at its location in Seattle - 2131 7th Ave, on the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.
However, the 1,800 square feet store is available to Amazon employees via the Beta program. Visit this page to sign up to be notified about the store opening.
Will Amazon Go launch in the UK?
Amazon hasn't announced plans beyond Seattle at the moment but there's a reasonable chance Amazon Go will come to the UK.
Not only is the UK a key market for the company, we've seen numerous Amazon products launch in the US first followed by a trip across the pond. Examples include Amazon Dash, Amazon Echo and Amazon Fresh.
A UK launch for Amazon Go in 2017 might be a bit ambitious but a beta trial like the one happening now in Seattle isn't out of the question.
Read our complete guide to the Amazon Echo.
How does Amazon Go work?
With no checkout to scan your items, you're probably wondering how Amazon Go works – the video makes it look like customers are just stealing things.
To be able to shop at the Amazon Go store you need a few things: an Amazon account, a supported smartphone and the free Amazon Go app. As shown in the video you scan a QR code on the turnstiles via the app on your phone, do your shopping and then simply exit the store.
The firm says it uses various technologies in order to ditch the traditional checkout system such as computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Amazon is calling it 'the world’s most advanced shopping technology'.
Amazon said: "Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you're done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt."
What does Amazon Go sell?
A physical store is never going to be able to stock all the things Amazon sells online but the Amazon Go store offers things like 'ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made fresh every day by our on-site chefs and favourite local kitchens and bakeries'.
Amazon Go stocks typical supermarket groceries such as bread, milk, cheese and chocolate. You can also get 'Amazon Meal Kits' which contain all the ingredients for a meal you can cook in 30 minutes.