Report Reveals Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ Grocery Checkouts, Initially Touted as AI-Powered, Actually Depended on 1,000 People in India Acting as Virtual Cashiers

Amazon Shifts Focus to Traditional Self-Checkout Counters after Revelation of Limited Autonomy in ‘Just Walk Out’ Technology

In response to challenges faced by the Amazon.com Inc.’s “Just Walk Out” technology, which relied on 1,000 contractors in India who acted as virtual cashiers rather than artificial intelligence as previously believed, Amazon is shifting its focus to “Dash Carts” and traditional self-checkout counters. The Dash Carts are equipped with scanners and screens, allowing customers to check out as they shop. These changes are being implemented in existing Amazon Fresh stores. Despite the initial excitement around the cashier-less technology, it required human intervention for 7 out of 10 sales, making it more costly than traditional self-checkout methods.

This decision to move away from the Just Walk Out technology comes after Amazon introduced it to the clothing retail sector in 2023, signaling the company’s interest in expanding cashier-less shopping beyond convenience and grocery stores. However, the technology did not meet Amazon’s targets and relied heavily on human monitoring, making it less efficient and cost-effective than anticipated.

The revelation that the Just Walk Out technology was not fully automated as initially thought has led to a shift in focus towards alternative checkout methods at Amazon. The company’s stock closed slightly lower on Tuesday following this news. The challenges faced by the cashier-less technology show that innovations in retail technology are not always seamless as they may seem. Subscribe to the Benzinga Tech Trends newsletter for the latest developments in technology and retail.

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