Amazon's new convenience store of the future has no lines and no cashiers. But it will have someone checking IDs.
The e-commerce giant confirmed to Recode on Monday that it plans to sell beer and wine from the Seattle store. The confirmation came after I inquired about a flyer I spotted on the store's window that mentioned its application for a liquor license.
"When we start offering beer and wine, there will be an associate checking identification," an Amazon spokesperson wrote in an email.
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Dubbed Amazon Go, the store concept allows shoppers to grab prepared food and drinks off of shelves and automatically be billed without stopping to pay on the way out. Amazon accomplishes this feat by making shoppers scan an app on the way in, and then uses a mix of sensors, cameras and computer vision to track the items that each customer takes. When the computers can't figure it out, humans step in.
Amazon said that the first Amazon Go store, located on the ground floor of one of Amazon's new office towers on 7th Avenue in Seattle, would open to the public in early 2017. But on a visit last week, the store was still restricted to employee visits only. Two workers stood guard at the entrance.
From the outside looking in, Amazon Go appears to have a bit of the feel of Pret A Manger sandwich shops — with sandwiches, salads and breakfast items lined up on shelves facing out into an open-concept store. Here's a blurry look.
And here's what the side entrance to the Go store looks like from the interior of Amazon's new "Day One" office building.
—By Jason Del Rey, Recode.net.
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