Record: Microsoft seeks to help retailers contend with Amazon Go

Amazon’ h Go checkout-free grocery concept shop proved instantly popular , with the retailer stating it would open up more stores in america. While it’ s not clear just how disruptive to the grocery or wider retail industry Amazon Go may become, Microsoft apparently wants to assist traditional retailers proactively compete.

Reuters reported earlier these days that Microsoft is developing techniques and technology “ that would remove cashiers and checkout lines through stores. ” The company is apparently in discussions with Walmart.

While it’ s unclear how far along Microsoft is with the particular proposed technology, the company has been circling the space for years. Roughly 10 years back, Microsoft created a smart shopping cart plus tested it with a grocery companion on the US East Coast. However the project never rolled out or even went beyond a limited test.

Microsoft has a massive impair business, and helping retailers much better compete with Amazon’ s checkout-free idea could pay dividends in multiple methods. The Microsoft approach would include both the cloud and the “ smart edge, ” as the company describes devices and systems in the field.

The system Microsoft is building reportedly seeks to minimize hardware specifications and costs for retailers, to eliminate friction and potential resistance to use. Reuters reports the system could use mobile phones and involves “ attaching digital cameras [with computer vision] to purchasing carts. ”

Along with Microsoft, there are other companies working on building technology for retail that would get rid of traditional cashiers and checkout outlines and be an improvement over today’ h self-scanning checkout systems.

Walmart declined to comment for your Reuters report. However , the Arkansas-based retailer is the world’ s largest employer , and cashiers comprise a large percentage of the 2-million-plus workforce. Accordingly, widespread application of cashier-free checkout systems is definitely an example of how artificial intelligence can eliminate millions of jobs for low-skilled workers.

There are roughly 3. six million cashier jobs in the US, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. But concern about a possibly adverse impact on employment won’ to slow the technology, given competing pressures, perceptions of consumer requirement and market momentum.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Internet search engine Land. He writes a personal weblog, Screenwerk , about connecting the dots between digital media and real-life consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for your Local Search Association. Follow your pet on Tweets or find your pet at Google+ .

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