Amazon Shoppers Greeted By Store Full Of Cameras

Cameras everywhere.

That’s one of the promises of the Amazon Go store opening to the public today after more than a year of testing with Amazon employees.

The idea is that consumers use their phones to identify themselves as they enter the store, pick up items as they shop and when done, then walk out the door, triggering a charge of all the groceries to their Amazon account.

This is well beyond the established practice of self-scanning and self-checkout and is accomplished through tracking. Make that lots of tracking.

Amazon says it uses “computer vision, deep learning algorithms, sensor fusion, much like you’d find in self-driving cars.”

Cameras have been used in stores for many years, such as in big box retailers to measure traffic patterns.

In recent years, tracking has gotten much better, thanks to the introduction of IoT sensors, such as beacons.

Dwell time, the amount of time a person spends in a store, has been one of the benefits to marketers, as well as knowing how many customers are repeat customers and what likely drove them back to the store.

At the recent annual Big Show put on by the National Retail Federation, various forms of in-store camera usage were highlighted.

The key is that in-store cameras can be used for different things.

For example, AT&T and Samsung displayed cameras that tracked customers in the aggregate, creating heat maps of traffic patterns.

Meanwhile, NEC showed cameras used for identifying specific customers and tracking them as they travel the store aisles, providing targeted messaging to them on screen displays in the store.

Many in-store display screens have cameras built in, so in addition to providing messaging to shoppers, they also can capture demographics of who is actually seeing those messages.

Cameras in screens in stores are not new, but the tracking technology involved is getting significantly better.

Targeted messaging via facial recognition is a major marketing goal here.

The question is how much will consumers realize about this technology and, of those who do, what their reaction might be.

If nothing else, Amazon Go may provide a glimpse of consumer reaction.

Especially, as shoppers come to realize that everything they do when in a store is monitored.


8 comments about "Amazon Shoppers Greeted By Store Full Of Cameras".
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  1. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , January 22, 2018 at 7:23 p.m.

    I'm confused about the part  "ADVANCED"??
    Again, we turn over all our info, banking and history of purchase to a phone app.
    Prices will sure to be higher, and who is monitoring if something got "put back" and really isn't on Your Bill?   How about hackers using your identity to do their shopping?
    What about all the grocery people who don't have a job and now can't even shop in the store??   It's for people with their head burried in their phone and can't function in life without it.  I shop with cash, it leaves no trail of anything I bought, my grocery "discount" card is a fake person who lives on Frontage Road.
    One day they will see, Google, Amazon, Apple.................are not your friend

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, January 22, 2018 at 7:42 p.m.

    That is a side of all of this, Mark.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 23, 2018 at 10:24 a.m.

    As for me, the moment that my Chinese laundry or my local bagel factory sells out to Amazon and they install all of those cameras and "tracking" systems, I'm finding a new laundry and bagel place. If Amazon buys all of the laundrys and bagel shops in America----and I wouldn't be surprised if that happened----, then I'll learn how to take care of my shirts, myself, and make my own bagels.

  4. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , January 23, 2018 at 2:39 p.m.

    I'm with you, Ed.
    People just don't realize the cost of convenience(laziness) is their privacy, freedom, bank records, social connections, habits, etc tracked by people who don't give a rip about you except to suck them in as a consumer..  Dave Ramsey is a guy who promotes using cash for a lot of these reasons, but mostly, when you pull the money out of your pocket and let go of it, you spend less.  Credit Cards  (bank of Amazon) never want you to have any clue on how much you are spending.   Scanning your phone for a pack of gum, feels the same as a $200 grocery bill you can carry in 2 hands.  I doubt the average millennial has never balanced their back account.

    Are we allowed to say "Chinese Laundry" anymore.   I think the one I use is Korean owned.

  5. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, January 23, 2018 at 3:29 p.m.

    Getting the old washer, dryer and iron ready, Ed?

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, January 23, 2018 at 3:30 p.m.

    Same concept as the Monopoly game, Mark.

  7. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , January 23, 2018 at 3:44 p.m.


  8. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, January 23, 2018 at 3:47 p.m.

    You'll likely need the mobile app version of that, Mark.

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