Amazon launched its first cashierless Amazon Go store earlier this year. It’s a grocery and convenience store that customers can shop at without ever having to wait in line at a cashier. They just go in, pick up the stuff they want and then walk out. Amazon has developed sophisticated technology backed by scanners and sensors to track what they put in the bag and walk out the store with and the bill is automatically charged to their Amazon account. A new report claims that Microsoft is working on similar technology which it would be able to provide to retailers willing to create their own cashier-free stores.

Reuters reports that Microsoft has been in discussions with Walmart about using its technology to power its cashier-free stores. The company has reportedly hired a computer vision specialist from Amazon Go and is believed to be experimenting with attaching cameras to shopping carts in order to track items. Some of its retailer partners are already building automated checkouts on top of its cloud services.

What the report doesn’t reveal is the kind of technology that Microsoft is going to use for its sensors but it may be released to its Project Kinect for Azure. It’s powered by Microsoft’s fourth-generation Kinect sensor that’s meant for use in conjunction with Azure AI services for spatial human object recognition.

While Amazon Go looks to add new stores in Chicago and San Francisco this year, it remains to be seen how soon Microsoft’s technology will be ready to hit the field.

Filed in General. Read more about Amazon go and Microsoft. Source: reuters

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