Reuters just broke the news that Microsoft plans to go after Amazon Go and eliminate cashiers by creating their own automated checkout system.
“It has half a dozen partners, including Redmond-based AVA Retail, that are building their own checkout-free or related services atop Microsoft’s cloud, some of the people said. Sales of partners’ services result in cloud revenue for Microsoft, along with insight into the market for new retail technologies.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s internal team, including a computer vision specialist hired from Amazon Go, has worked on attaching cameras to shopping carts to track customers’ items. And it has studied novel ways for smartphones to play a role in the shopping experience, people said.”
Of course, Amazon Go has a big start, having opened the first grocery convenience store in Seattle in January.
There, customers can simply walk in, grab their items and leave, without opening their wallet. Amazon also has plans to expand to Chicago and San Francisco, two more breeding grounds for new technology and start-up innovations.