Amazon Testing Grocery Store With No Checkout

Gigus Fire

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I'd be interested to see if i can break the tech. Like put stuff on shelves where it doesn't belong, put on glasses after i walk in, etc.
 

viscountalpha

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I'm expecting this to fail terribly. It's too much of a leap. The same reason why we still use the querty keyboard. We are creatures of habit.
 
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There was someone else doing this from a while back. I forget who, but it was small stores, I think run by one guy. He was placing stores with no checkouts in very remote areas where the traffic is to little to keep someone full time at the store, but this allowed the people in the area to have access to most of your basic house hold items. The door was locked and you had some type of cell phone access with an app, and when leaving I think it used RFID tags for everything in your basket and charged you once you left the store.

As for if it works or not, the things I read about this guy was that the stores were a hit, and he was opening more, all he had to do was pay for power and a stocking truck once a week, with some house keeping. Having this in the city however...I don't know, I expect it would turn into a mess in a few days, different kind of people.
 

DocSavage

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This sounds incredibly awesome. Never standing in line at grocery store again. I'll let amazon figure out the technical issues.
 

katanaD

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i wonder how it will handle produce and the like where you are charged by the pound for stuff, not per item. thats one thing that always keeps me away from using the self check outs at stores now as its a real pain.

EDIT:

also, what about booze??
 

lostinseganet

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They don't pay people enough to care about thieves anyway...ssoo.
 
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Dwango

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I'd be interested to see if i can break the tech. Like put stuff on shelves where it doesn't belong, put on glasses after i walk in, etc.
It looks like it tracks the phone you carry through the store so how you dress or look shouldn't make a difference. And the products are RFID tagged so I would assume it wouldn't matter where they're put on the shelves the store will still know the product is on the shelf and can probably even determine how far out of place it is by which reader is picking it up. But I suppose that's what they have the beta test for. I wonder if they're asking the testers to intentionally try breaking stuff or if it's one of those "use it like you normally would" kinds of betas.
 

Dalexx

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Steve missed the part where there will be killer robots there in case you try to cheat the system or have a Customer service complaint.
 

Gigus Fire

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It looks like it tracks the phone you carry through the store so how you dress or look shouldn't make a difference. And the products are RFID tagged so I would assume it wouldn't matter where they're put on the shelves the store will still know the product is on the shelf and can probably even determine how far out of place it is by which reader is picking it up. But I suppose that's what they have the beta test for. I wonder if they're asking the testers to intentionally try breaking stuff or if it's one of those "use it like you normally would" kinds of betas.
So what if you turn off your phone? What if you tape some tin foil on the bottom of the package and put a new rfid tag from something that's less expensive?
It just seems like something that's dependent on people not trying to break the system.
 

cyclone3d

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i wonder how it will handle produce and the like where you are charged by the pound for stuff, not per item. thats one thing that always keeps me away from using the self check outs at stores now as its a real pain.

EDIT:

also, what about booze??
What? How is the self checkout bad for stuff that is charged per pound?

The checkouts have a scale built in AND the code is always on a sticker on the item.

It takes about 5 seconds to key in the code and it automatically prices it by weight.

Walmart even has a pictorial lookup if the sticker with the code is missing for some reason.

For a small number of items, self-checkout is way better than standing in line waiting for the slow cashiers as well as the slow customers.
 

SixFootDuo

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So some random person could just walk in without any id or phone and start putting stuff in his / her bag. I mean, no one is going to think that behavior is out of character in this space.

There must be more to this than meets the eye. That has to be one of the big problems they solved early on.

What happens if a 'swarm' happens of kids that just got out of High School?

Also, they are surely not going to have the best pricing as their is added value in being able to walk in and bag something then walk out.

I don't know about you guys but I've spent 25 years saving every dime I could and it sure as hell wasn't at places that charge more lol. If you guys think this place will have better prices than Save A Lot, Walmart, Aldi's etc ,,, guess again.
 

Darunion

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So what if you turn off your phone? What if you tape some tin foil on the bottom of the package and put a new rfid tag from something that's less expensive?
It just seems like something that's dependent on people not trying to break the system.
There are plenty of ways to steal things from current grocery stores too. They said no cashiers or lines, they didn't say no security.

also that is alot of work to steal a loaf of bread, just saying.
 

Mugato

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Funny! I was in Fred Meyer the other day at the self checkout and mentioned to the clerk there "You know, I like self checkout, but wouldn't it be better if you had scales built into each cart along with a scanner? Or, a scanner app on your phone? And then scanned each item as you placed it in the cart, checked out and walked out the door. Wheels lock if you don't pay."

She said, they are testing it in MN right now, you'll see it within a year.

"Damn, there goes my retirement =("

I'm always freaking coming up with these wild ideas that totally make sense and could be huge...and then google it and someone has done it. PHBTTBBTTHHH
 

viscountalpha

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"Amazon Go is currently open to Amazon employees in our Beta program, and will open to the public in early 2017. Click below to get notified when we open."

Not open to the public yet. They haven't seen the shit storm that is Seattle's homeless.
 
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So what if you turn off your phone? What if you tape some tin foil on the bottom of the package and put a new rfid tag from something that's less expensive?
It just seems like something that's dependent on people not trying to break the system.
Same can be said for self checkouts.

I know someone who would find items in the store, record the UPC number, go home and print out new ones on stickers, go back to the store and place them on the same kind of item but much more expensive, in most cases they would not even use self checkout, they would use the normal ones. Point, being, issues like this are always the case, normal stores if it is small enough you don't even need to do that, just stuff it in a shirt/jacket and walk out.
 

steakman1971

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We have something like this at Kroger where I live. I think it's being tested.
One of the European retailers (might be tesco, not positive) has also had a similar system. You somehow scan as you put stuff in your cart. You then pay at the end. They randomly audit people (ie - a cashier goes through and scans everything) to keep people honest.
 

Riouken

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There was someone else doing this from a while back. I forget who, but it was small stores, I think run by one guy. He was placing stores with no checkouts in very remote areas where the traffic is to little to keep someone full time at the store, but this allowed the people in the area to have access to most of your basic house hold items. The door was locked and you had some type of cell phone access with an app, and when leaving I think it used RFID tags for everything in your basket and charged you once you left the store.

As for if it works or not, the things I read about this guy was that the stores were a hit, and he was opening more, all he had to do was pay for power and a stocking truck once a week, with some house keeping. Having this in the city however...I don't know, I expect it would turn into a mess in a few days, different kind of people.
Pretty much this, my company has been testing something like this. It will be many more years and take some more tech before this becomes main stream. For the next decade this type of store will only be in ultra high end areas. Average yearly income over 100k, with very low crime. Its still to easy for criminals to beat the technology and walk out with loads of stuff. Even with putting it in low pop and low crime areas, most of the savings from less payroll are offset by the 100-150 percent increase in shrink.
 

DocSavage

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Same can be said for self checkouts.

I know someone who would find items in the store, record the UPC number, go home and print out new ones on stickers, go back to the store and place them on the same kind of item but much more expensive, in most cases they would not even use self checkout, they would use the normal ones. Point, being, issues like this are always the case, normal stores if it is small enough you don't even need to do that, just stuff it in a shirt/jacket and walk out.
This is where the machine vision comes to play. If they detect someone being fraudulent, the guard(s) will be alerted. Repeat offenders will probably be noticed as soon as they approach the front door.
 

Ranulfo

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Meh, my local Safeway actually just took out their self-checkout machines and put in two new express 15 items or less lanes.
 
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This is where the machine vision comes to play. If they detect someone being fraudulent, the guard(s) will be alerted. Repeat offenders will probably be noticed as soon as they approach the front door.
Not even that, this is harder to do than UPC, UPC just put a sticker over it etc and move on, or just walk out with it. Here, it's RFID, you would have to know where it is, remove it from the item, and then replace it with a new one, other wise you would just get charged extra when you walked out as it would be reading yet another RFID tag. Even if you just walked out, you would still have to at least remove the RFID, assuming its not embedded into the product it self before walking out.
 

Rustynuts

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The damn self checkout scanners don't work half the time. They will just be moving the checkout lines outside after the alarms ring on everyone exiting
 

drescherjm

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The damn self checkout scanners don't work half the time.
Having used the self checkout 100s of times I find that is a serious problem at Home Depot. I mean they don't do well with small parts like 1/2 pipe fittings. These days I don't bother anymore if I have lots of small items I just go wait in the 1 or 2 lines that have a checker..
 

DukenukemX

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Automation won't take away jobs. There's going to be a lot of security there to make sure nobody walks out with free stuff!
 

Noghri2

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Sadly(or odd or whatever) I have stopped using Self-Checkout lanes in last year after I heard following standup routine from Bill Burr
 

cyclone3d

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Having used the self checkout 100s of times I find that is a serious problem at Home Depot. I mean they don't do well with small parts like 1/2 pipe fittings. These days I don't bother anymore if I have lots of small items I just go wait in the 1 or 2 lines that have a checker..
Self checkouts at Home depot are the only thing I use there unless I have really big items.

I've had a problem with it once.. when the machine was not feeding receipt paper properly.

I just make sure to pick up stuff that has readable bar codes.

The ones that are smeary or blurry or scratched half off are not going to work.
 

rezerekted

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I just know they are going to fuck up and people will get charged for shit they never bought. I pay cash for almost everything and have no plans to change that policy any time soon. Shit like this is all part of tracking everything you do in your life and that is their incentive, not because they want to make it easier for you to shop.
 

Darunion

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I just know they are going to fuck up and people will get charged for shit they never bought. I pay cash for almost everything and have no plans to change that policy any time soon. Shit like this is all part of tracking everything you do in your life and that is their incentive, not because they want to make it easier for you to shop.
No, amazon just wants to profit off of you, there is no other driving motive. They track what you buy just to try to sell you more things. I myself would be okay with that as waiting 20mins in line when I only have 4 items because self checkout is full and people fill up the 12 items or less line with full carts of groceries.

Amazon's only real motive is to be the only company you buy anything from. And yes there will be mistakes, but if you have ever dealt with amazon customer service, it is super painless to have mistakes corrected. It is the only company I don't get upset about a mistake because I know it isn't a huge hassle.

edit: also your grocery stores already have systems in place to track each item you buy and use that data for both marketting research and when food gets recalled you are notified if you purchased that lot of item.
 

rezerekted

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No, amazon just wants to profit off of you, there is no other driving motive. They track what you buy just to try to sell you more things. I myself would be okay with that as waiting 20mins in line when I only have 4 items because self checkout is full and people fill up the 12 items or less line with full carts of groceries.

Amazon's only real motive is to be the only company you buy anything from. And yes there will be mistakes, but if you have ever dealt with amazon customer service, it is super painless to have mistakes corrected. It is the only company I don't get upset about a mistake because I know it isn't a huge hassle.

edit: also your grocery stores already have systems in place to track each item you buy and use that data for both marketting research and when food gets recalled you are notified if you purchased that lot of item.
Well, of course money is the final goal but this system is to make tracking easier. I pay cash so, no, I am not tracked when I buy something except for online purchases, you sheep that pay for everything with your debit card or smartphone are though. Ba-a--a-a-a-a-a... :)
 

AaronGant

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I've been wanting stores to use RFID tag (or something) on everything so I could just shove my cart through a scanner and be presented with a total and my receipt. The current self checkout situation sucks for anything more than a couple of items.
 

Darunion

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Well, of course money is the final goal but this system is to make tracking easier. I pay cash so, no, I am not tracked when I buy something except for online purchases, you sheep that pay for everything with your debit card or smartphone are though. Ba-a--a-a-a-a-a... :)
Well, I guess I am glad for you that no one knows how much milk you buy a month (unless you use their rewards card, because that is how items are tracked, not the credit card)... I guess it is all about the small battles.
 

nilepez

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#1 consumer will be the folks claiming this took their jobS
Well there's no doubt this will kill jobs, but I see it as the future. Why would you have a bunch of checkout lines with cashiers, when you can do it automatically with RFID. AFAIK, companies like Dell have used RFID to monitor components and they only pay Intel, for example, when a CPU leaves the storage area.

This type of thing is going to cause problems for low skill workers (and eventually high skill workers), but it's inevitable and IMO this is a great idea. Kroger is testing a similar (but less cool) idea. With them, you'll use an app and scan your items as you shop and put them in your bag...wnen you check out, I think you'll just scan a bar code on your phone, get your receipt (maybe) and leave. I'd use that too, though Walmart needs that tech way more than Kroger.
 

DeathFromBelow

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i wonder how it will handle produce and the like where you are charged by the pound for stuff, not per item. thats one thing that always keeps me away from using the self check outs at stores now as its a real pain.
I know at Walmart's self-checkouts you just put the product on the scale, press 'look up item,' and then press the button for whatever kind of meat/produce it is.
 
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