The revolutionary cashier-free technology Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has developed for its Amazon Go convenience stores is about to become available to any retailer. Reuters reports that the e-commerce giant is launching a business to market its "Just Walk Out" technology, and has already signed up several customers.
And this could potentially be a $50 billion business for Amazon, says one analyst.
Eye in the sky
While supermarkets are increasingly reducing their reliance upon human cashiers, replacing them with a variety of scan-and-go technologies or self-checkout registers, Amazon Go is a unique solution as customers have no need to pause at a register at all. They simply walk into the store, pick up what they need, and leave.
Thanks to a network of cameras, shelf sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, customers are tracked as they move through the store, as are the items they chose. After they leave, their tabs can be billed to their Amazon accounts.
The technology Amazon will sell to retailers will operate slightly differently -- customers will have to swipe a credit card upon entering the store instead of using the Amazon app to record their purchases.
In addition to the upfront sales revenues from the Just Walk Out technology, this move should give a bump to Amazon Web Services -- that cloud system is the data processing and storage backbone to the cashier-free operation.
Amazon, which had previously mulled licensing the technology to movie theaters and airports, will install the technology all the technology needed, and offer a 24-7 support line.