Amazon’s smart shopping trolley lets you skip the till

Most retail businesses have spent a lot of time and resources in order to sell their wares online, so many were surprised when Amazon went the opposite direction. Back in 2016, they launched Amazon Go – a brick and mortar grocery store with quick checkouts.

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Since then Amazon has just taken its grocery store ambitions further. In 2017 they bought Whole Foods for the sum of $13.4 billion.

It is hoping to further automate the grocery shopping experience – Amazon has unveiled a smart shopping trolley that can automatically detect products placed inside it. This means you don’t need to wait in line and pay at a cashier; you can simply shop for your items by placing it in the Dash Cart, as Amazon calls it, and then simply walking out the store. The cost is deducted from the card linked to your Amazon account.

The Dash Cart looks like most other shopping trolleys, but adds an array of cameras, a built-in scale and other sensors to work out exactly what the customer has placed in it. This will work similarly to the technology used in Amazon Go stores, except now it is in the cart itself rather than on the walls, in the shelves and at the doors. When arriving at the store the customer signs in using a QR code in the Amazon app. As they place items into the trolley it will beep if the product is correctly identified or flash orange if the cart needs to rescan the item.

The new trolleys will be deployed at one of Amazon’s first true grocery stores (so not at Whole Foods), which will be much larger than the small convenience store-sized Amazon Go locations. The first one will be opened in the Woodland Hill area of Los Angeles, sometime in 2020.

The Dash Cart is made for “small- to medium-sized grocery trips and fits two grocery bags,” according to the company. It also has a small display on the top that can be used to display your Amazon Alexa shopping list, as well as a coupon scanner or product promotions in-store. When you’re done, the customer exits through one of the store’s Dash Cart lanes and the invoice is automatically emailed to the appropriate address.

Would this make your weekly grocery shopping experience more convenient? Do you think it’s feasible? Let us know in the comments below.