Microsoft Takes On Amazon With Its Own Cashier-less Stores

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Amazon may soon be facing some competition from Microsoft who’s reportedly developing tech for cashier-less shopping.

Microsoft Cashier-less Shops
Image Credit: ABC News

Microsoft is reportedly developing a technology that track what items people pick up while shopping. Sound’s familiar? Does Amazon Go ring any bell?

Reuters reports that the tech giant has already presented a sample technology to retailers around the world. It is also apparently in talks with Walmart about a potential collaboration.

Another source claims that Redmond-based AVA Retail, which develops technology to collect data about shoppers in stores, says it is working with Microsoft.

Microsoft’s interest on this kind of technology is not really a secret.

The company already runs what it calls the Retail Experience Center near its Redmond office. The place is meant to showcase its products and serve as a testing environment for its business-sales groups. A tour in the facility in 2016 showed Bluetooth beacons that allows it to track customers’ movements. A year earlier, Microsoft also showed how a store can keep track of what customers pick up using tech from its Kinect motion sensor.

Amazon Go, Amazon’s first cashier-less shop which opened in Seattle this year, works similarly. Customers use an app and combined technologies like computer vision, sensor fusion, deep learning and cameras to keep track of their movements.

Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali noted that Walmart working with Microsoft is definitely a possibility. “Will they be able to actually offer something that works?  Who knows … too early to tell. But it’s a great idea and what Walmart cannot ignore.”

 

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