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Technology/Services

Is Microsoft Building Amazon Go for Walmart?

Software developer reportedly developing no-checkout technology

REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft is reportedly working with Walmart to develop its own version of an Amazon Go-like no-checkout shopping experience.

The software maker is developing technology to allow retail customers to bypass the checkout experience and is partnering with retailers to move the concept forward, according to Reuters.

Reuters spoke with six people who are familiar with the matter and said that Microsoft is developing systems to track items as they are added to customers’ carts. Three of the sources said Microsoft has sampled the tech to retailers from around the world and that the company is already in discussion with Walmart to collaborate.

The technology and alleged partnership could indicate a challenge to the no-checkout operation found in the Amazon Go smart store, which allows customers to simply grab any item for sale in the store and leave without a formal checkout process.

Reports indicate Microsoft’s no-checkout technology would involve cameras attached to shopping carts, as opposed to Amazon’s method in which cameras and sensors hang from the ceiling and are installed in shelves. Reuters also reports that Microsoft has studied “novel” ways that smartphones can add to the shopping experience.

Amazon plans to open more Amazon Go locations in Chicago and San Francisco. Meanwhile, Walmart recently ended its self-checkout test in which customers scanned their own items using mobile devices.

Photo courtesy of Walmart. 

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