The store in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle uses cameras, sensors and algorithms to watch customers and track what they pick up and then charges them. However if there are more than about 20 people in the store, the system can start to malfunction, making it increasingly difficult to track where people are and what they are picking up.
Amazon Go testing started at a mock-up store in a warehouse in the SoDo neighborhood in Seattle before the first store’s beta opening on the ground floor of an Amazon building. Employees served as the guinea pigs for the technology, which relies on video streaming and computer vision algorithms to process images in real time, along with sensors, identifying customers and tracking them—and the items they grab—throughout the store. The retailer has said that it uses technology similar to an autonomous car to make the process work.