Speed Reads

gotta check em all (out)

Amazon's convenience stores are about to eradicate the checkout line

After conquering the internet, Amazon is moving into the real world with its Amazon Go stores. But there's one last challenge preventing it from taking over the retail universe: families.

Amazon Go convenience stores eliminate the need for cashiers, instead tracking what customers pick up and charging them as they walk out the door. So far, the concept has worked in the Seattle prototype store, Bloomberg reports. A combination of the same sensing technology used in self-driving and a mobile app even sensed Amazon employees in Pikachu costumes grabbing snacks and drinks.

But couples shopping together and families with kids still fool the system: Amazon Go has no idea who to charge when two people leave together or when a child eats something in the store.

These technical difficulties have held Amazon Go back from opening to the public like it planned to do earlier this year. And these are just small convenience stores — analysts say there's a long way to go before this technology could work in an Amazon-owned Whole Foods, for instance.

This might explain why there's a Pokemon walking around your local Whole Foods. But it probably doesn't.