Standing in a long queue, waiting for check-outs, can now easily be a thing of the past. According to hot-off-the-press reports by Reuters, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is striving on technology that can primarily enable and boost check-out free retail stores. Reuters claims further that the Washington-based software giant has been canvassing a collaboration with Walmart- a deadly rival for Amazon Go(NASDAQ:AMZN) initiative, then.
Microsoft’s intentional brush with Amazon Go:
Reportedly, Amazon launched its cashier-free, bricks-and-mortar convenience store in the company’s hometown, Seattle in 2016. In its rudimentary phase though, Shoppers possess the no-fuss, free rein to grab items and leave. They just have to scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter. The store, equipped with cameras and sensors had computer vision algorithms implemented, which detects the items taken out from the store by customers. The corresponding amount is then charged duly to the shoppers.
In a very coveted manner, for a prolonged four years, Amazon Go was being built before being, finally, launched with an employee-only pilot in 2016. Before making the Seattle store open for enthusiastic-shoppers, it was into a rigorous survey for fourteen months, collecting data about relevant customer trends. However, Amazon denied any plans of introducing checkout-free technology to its Whole Foods Market grocery chain.
The company, which still tries to improvise more, claims the company’s training of computers to identify items with as little information as possible.
However, Microsoft’s much-talked-about service, although in a haze of when and where is a big innovation in shopping service and Amazon cannot ignore this advancement. This automated checkout service is sure to add fuel to the fire between Microsoft and Amazon. It’s no hush-hush that both Microsoft and Amazon have already locked horns over the future of Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence. With Amazon’s Web Services(AWS) as well as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s idee-fixe on the necessity of AI in the company, the leading market top-honchos are running parallel.
Happy Shopping Experience!
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella has not shy-ed away from advocating “intelligent edge” device that could manage connected gadgets, for instance, cameras subject to minimum data transfer over cloud which will in return, effectively reduce costs. As per sources, Reuters also claims that Microsoft’s biggest challenge, for now, is to implement feasible and affordable technology which will not irk vendor’s already thin profit margins, in a bad way.
Microsoft has an edge over the whole check-out free services since it showcases a basal automated checkout at its Retail Experience Center, based in Redmond. Microsoft, having a partnership with Redmond-based AVA retail, can boast of half a dozen more who are striving to implement check-out free services or likewise.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s internal team, which includes a computer vision expert, hailing originally from the Amazon Go background. The team is successful in attaching vision specific gadgets, namely cameras to shopping carts so that it’s feasible to track customer items.
However, as recent news surface the corporate sphere, Microsoft’s new-in technology aims to help retailers, collimate well with Amazon Go technology. Microsoft and it’s big-time retailer plug-in is all about strategic, hunt-for-honcho biz. In addition to that, it keeps pace with Amazon, as much as cloud services are concerned, aptly, in e-commerce sites.
Still, the industry is planning a verge-upon to Amazon. The head of research at Loup Ventures in Minneapolis goes on to say, “This is the future of checking out for convenience and grocery stores.” The venture capital firm estimates the automated checkout for the U.S is worth $50 billion.