Amazon's New Service Will Forever Change How You Shop

Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images.
If Amazon Prime changed how we shop online — free two-day shipping! — Amazon Go is here to shake up how we shop in-store.

In a video announcing the new service, a narrator says, "Four years ago, we started to wonder, what would shopping look like if you could walk into a store, grab what you want, and just go?" In early 2017, that kind of shopping will be a reality.

When you download the Amazon Go app, you'll be able to walk into the Amazon Go store in Seattle, and, after scanning the app upon entering, pick up whatever you want and leave. You don't need to scan anything else, wait in checkout lines, or pay at all in-store. After leaving, you'll get a notification to pay through your Amazon account.

How does this magical shopping work? According to Amazon, it's a combination of machine learning and AI similar to the kind used in self-driving cars. "Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves, and keeps track of them in a virtual cart," the company says in a post about Amazon Go.

While there was previously word of drive-through, Amazon Fresh grocery stores, today is the first we're hearing of Amazon Go. Amazon says that Amazon Go will also sell grocery staples, as well as "ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options made fresh every day by our on-site chefs and favorite local kitchens and bakeries."

The catch, of course, is that the technology behind Amazon Go is currently just available in one location, which is only open to Amazon employees and will open to the public in early 2017. So, while we would love to complete all of our holiday shopping without lines and in-store checkout, that isn't possible — yet.

If the launch of Amazon Go makes one thing clear, it's that Amazon is taking over, one store at a time.
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