Imagine going to the supermarket, picking the items you want from the shelves, putting them into your basket, and then walking out of the store.
Sounds like something that would get most of us arrested, right? However, this is an actual high-tech grocery shopping experience courtesy of Amazon Go.
With technology that could only be thought up by those who don’t routinely experience racial profiling when shopping, Amazon Go uses Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology.
The technology employs the same components as automated vehicles. With computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, the technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.
When you leave the store, your Amazon account is charged and you are sent a receipt. Amazon Go only requires an Amazon account, a smartphone, and the Amazon Go app.
The Amazon Go store has the regular wares of a supermarket including bread, milk, artisanal cheeses, and locally-sourced chocolate. Customers can also shoplift—er, pickup, Amazon Meal Kits, pre-packaged ingredients that allow for creating quick and complete meals.
Currently, there is only one pilot Amazon Go store. It’s located in Seattle and for now, only open to Amazon employees for beta testing. The store will open to the public early next year.
Black Enterprise audience members have mixed reactions to the Amazon Go video posted on BE’s Facebook page:
Dessilina S. Cannon: Love it! I know it can possibly hurt jobs. But the ppl (and companies) who are at the check out hurt their own jobs. Check outs are slow and awful. At least if you are ready to eat now you can with this store.
Pierre Meyitang: After all is said and done. This does more damage than good to the majority of society. Especially those without the means for this kind of lifestyle.
Dwayne Ford: Wait til a black customer tries this and is arrested for shoplifting—can you say lawsuit boys and girls!?
Master Oneal: Because you can’t mandate a minimum wage increase; it will cost a lot of people jobs. In this way, using Amazon Go would contribute to that outcome. Although I support permissionless innovation, I don’t think I could support Amazon with this one at the moment.
What are your thoughts? Convenient shopping or unnecessary automation for the privileged?