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Amazon now selling ‘cashierless’ tech to grocers (we called it!)

(TECH NEWS) Amazon just announced that they’re selling their cashierless technology to other stores. Is it the end of shopping as we know it? Should we just walk out?

just walk out amazon

Looks like Amazon’s selling their cashierless tech to other stores. I don’t want to say we called it, but…we totally did.

Before we get into what this could mean for you and your local grocery store, let’s have a quick refresher on Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology. (Yes, that’s the official name and yes, it does sound like one of those peppy slogans you’d see on a t-shirt, but I digress.) Essentially, Amazon shops are filled with tech, everything from cameras to weight sensors, so they can track not only everything you take, but everything you picked up off the shelf and then put back.

Does this mean Amazon would know about your weakness for Oreos? Probably. Could it mean they could use this moment of weakness to spam you with Oreo advertisements when you get home? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Regardless of the potential implications, once people are finished shopping, they leave the store and Amazon sends them a bill based on what they took. While this technology has been limited to a few brick-and-mortar Amazon shops, though, it might just be making it to stores near you.

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So, what does this mean? Are we about to say good-bye to grocery cashiers forever? Well…probably not. At least, not for the time being. First, Amazon insists that this move wouldn’t displace workers, rather shift them from running the cash register to doing other tasks around the store, like stocking shelves or aiding customer requests.

It’s also worth noting that the “cashierless” method in general has struggled to catch on in other chains. Costco, for instance, introduced self-check out just to take it away. They’ve only just started to tentatively re-introduce the practice.

Not to mention, it’s hard to say how many places will be willing to bite the bullet with this technology right now. Sure, it might reduce lines and allow employees to do more around the store, but the installation is not cheap, even if there are options for both stores under construction and those that have already been built.

Still, it will be interesting to see what will happen. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to just walk out of my local grocery store and get the bill when I’m home. With that convenience, the potential privacy violations that come with Just Walk Out might just be worth it. Maybe.

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Brittany is a Staff Writer for The American Genius with a Master's in Media Studies under her belt. When she's not writing or analyzing the educational potential of video games, she's probably baking.

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