Amazon has just introduced its "Just Walk Out" technology into a full-size 25,000 square foot Amazon Fresh grocery store. The system uses overhead cameras, pressure sensitive-shelves, and biometric data to determine what customers put in their carts. The new store will be open on June 17 in Bellevue, Washington.
"Bringing Just Walk Out technology to a full-size grocery space with the Amazon Fresh store in Bellevue showcases the technology's continued ability to scale and adapt to new environments and selection. I'm thrilled it'll help even more customers enjoy an easier and faster way to shop and can't wait to get their feedback on this latest Just Walk Out offering," Amazon's vice president of Physical Retail and Technology, Dilip Kumar, said, according to The Verge.
The store will give customers two options when they arrive. Their first choice will be to go with a traditional checkout option. But if customers decide they would rather Just Walk Out, they can enter the store one of two ways, first, by scanning a QR code in the Amazon app followed by inserting a credit or debit card. Or they can utilize the Just Walk Out feature by scanning their palm when they enter.
However, since the surge of the new tech, many have come out against it, some even citing it as a violation of civil rights. According to FOX News, more than 20 civil rights groups have come out demanding Amazon "permanently" divest from its pursuits.
"Amazon is dragging us toward a world dominated by total corporate surveillance," Fight for the Future Director Evan Greer said. "They envision neighborhoods that are blanketed in devices that constantly monitor all of us: tracking our movements, analyzing our faces, listening to our conversations, monitoring our heartbeats, and harvesting our most intimate data for the sole purpose of expanding Amazon's power and profit."
Still, the Amazon community sees that their surveillance technology in all its different facets, from Ring doorbells to grocery shelves, as a way to improve customer experiences. According to an unnamed spokesperson with the company, they went on to tout the benefits of Ring, a video doorbell surveillance company now owned by Amazon.
"Ring believes transparency and accountability are crucial to safer, better communities. Since its founding, Ring has been committed to improving its products and services by listening to and incorporating feedback from all parts of our communities. As part of this effort, Ring has been working with independent third-party experts to identify ways to provide customers with greater insight into how public safety agencies use the Neighbors App."
The Neighbors App sends out alerts to others connected to the app whenever law enforcement or other users of the app send out alerts.
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