USA – Microsoft Corp is working on check-out free retail that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, meant to compete with Amazon’s automated grocery stores, Amazon Go, reported Reuters.
With the technology, the company’s systems will be able to track what shoppers add to their trolleys.
According to people familiar with the matter, mentioned by Reuters, Microsoft has shown a sample of the technology to retailers and it had discussed with Walmart for a possible collaboration.
Microsoft is reported to be second in ranking in selling cloud services vital in running ecommerce sites in addition to developing retail technologies.
The strategic collaboration with Microsoft’s new technology is vital for retailers especially those scrambling with Amazon’s automatic stores, highly regarded for convenience.’
Minneapolis-based research firm Loup Ventures, estimates the U.S. market for automated checkout is worth US$50 billion.
Microsoft’s technology aims to help retailers keep pace with Amazon Go, a highly automated store that opened to the public in Seattle early this year.
Amazon launched check-free food shop, Amazon Go in January that relies on cameras and sensors to track what customers remove from shelves, and what they put back.
It has no cash tills or checkout lines as shoppers use a smartphone app when entering and pay with their pre-registered credit cards on their exit.
The cashier-free initiative used in Seattle, will soon open in Chicago and San Francisco.
The move by Amazon came after it acquired the high-end US supermarket chain Whole Foods Market last year for 12 billion euros, disrupting the entire retail chain.
Microsoft’s Project Kinect for Azure claims it enables automation for cost savings across security, healthcare, and manufacturing.
The company in Redmond unveiled its fourth generation Kinect sensor at Build last month that is designed for others to use the depth sensor and Azure AI services for spatial human object recognition.