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May 8, 2024
(Updated on
Apr 4, 2024

Amazon Removes ‘Just Walk Out’ Tech, Replacing It With Dash Carts In The US

The 'Just Walk Out' technology, which allowed customers to shop without going through a traditional checkout process, is being scaled back due to customer feedback. According to a spokesperson for Amazon, customers expressed a desire for features such as the ability to find nearby products and deals, view their receipts as they shop, and know how much money they saved while shopping throughout the store. In response, Amazon Fresh stores will now implement Dash Carts, which are smart-shopping carts that provide all these benefits in addition to allowing customers to skip the checkout line.

The Dash Carts work differently from the 'Just Walk Out' technology. Shoppers can scan an item using a camera on the Dash Cart, place it in the cart, and then exit through a specialized Dash Cart lane to process the payment method associated with their Amazon account. 

In contrast, the 'Just Walk Out' technology utilized sensors, cameras, and deep learning tools to sense what a consumer took off the shelf, or so it was thought. According to this TikTok, the alleged 'Just Walk Out' technology was never real to begin with and was operated out of India by people manually checking cameras and sending receipts hours later to customers.


Amazon just walk out tech

♬ original sound - Frank Niu

The 'Just Walk Out' technology required the support of machine learning, with Amazon spokespersons confirming that people were needed to foster this learning. However, Amazon has pushed back against reports that the technology relies heavily on human reviewers. It was clarified that the primary role of their machine learning data associates is to annotate video images, which is necessary for improving the machine learning model powering the technology. He also mentioned that associates might validate a small minority of shopping visits where the computer vision technology cannot determine an individual's purchases with complete confidence.

Photo by Simon Bak on Unsplash

While 'Just Walk Out' technology continues to scale, the number of human reviews has decreased year over year. On the other hand, Dash Carts use a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items placed in the cart, with customers receiving a receipt shortly after leaving the store.

Amazon has not yet responded to questions about whether the Dash Cart technology also employs machine learning data associates. However, the switch to Dash Carts could potentially address consumer pain points and serve as a vehicle for paid advertising. Some analysts see the change as part of a broader push to revamp Fresh locations with more customer-friendly features, such as brighter colours and coffee shops, moving away from the possibly 'online-first' design of Amazon's previous locations.

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