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Why Amazon Go’s Cashier-Free Technology Is Revolutionary, And How It Works

Technology, Internet of things, big data, mobile

Amazon’s newest store format will be revolutionary. The technology used at Amazon Go will allow customers to walk into the store, sign into the store’s app, grab their groceries and simply walk out. The app records shoppers' purchases and charges their accounts once they leave. 

The convenience can’t be beat, but how does this technology work and what sort of impact will it have?

"There is going to be a tremendous ripple effect for technology for retailers," McMillan Doolittle's Neil Stern tells Bisnow. "Everyone I've spoken to is now re-examining their checkout technology to determine how they might respond to Amazon. "

According to Amazon's patent filing, the tech relies on RFID chips that automatically track when a product leaves the shelf, and later, the store. 

Amazon.com has been tiptoeing into brick-and-mortar for some time now, with its small bookstore outlets and convenience store and curbside pickup locations coming next year. The e-commerce giant has been a major disruption to the retail industry and this latest innovation is no different. 

Think about it: no checkout lines, no card transactions, no bagging. A system like that needn't only apply to stores—it can apply in any setting where keeping track of items is important. From warehouses doing inventory checks to public libraries managing books, this new system promises to revolutionize the replenishment process through real-time, automated tracking. 

"While the technology suggested in Go seems very proprietary, there are advances in self-checkout technology that other retailers can pursue," Neil tells us.