No more ‘CASHDESKS’ and queues; Amazon introduces AI-based ‘SMARTCARTS’

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Amazon Dash Cart
Representational Image

US-based eCommerce giant Amazon has unveiled a smart shopping cart that can automatically detect products placed inside it and let customers pay for shopping without visiting a cashier.

Amazon’s “Dash Cart” looks like any other grocery cart, but uses cameras, sensors and a built-in weighing scale to work out your purchases and then deducts the total amount from the card associated with the Amazon account.

Amazon Dash Cart
Amazon Dash Cart

Amazon says that the Dash Cart is designed for “small- to medium-sized grocery trips and fits two grocery bags.” Upon arrival, customers will sign in using a QR code in the Amazon app and then place products into their own bags while shopping. The cart will beep when the product is correctly identified or flash orange if it needs to be re-added.

There’s a small display on the top that provides access to Alexa shopping lists, as well as a coupon scanner that will apply discounts while people shop. Once done, shoppers exit through one of the store’s Dash Cart lanes and the receipt will automatically be emailed to the address on file.

The cart will be first introduced at a new Los Angeles supermarket which Amazon is opening later this year. The store will have conventional cashiers as well, but Amazon also wanted to give its customers a way to avoid long lines.

In the future, it could be used at Amazon’s Whole Foods grocery chain or other stores, if Amazon sells the technology, but there are no plans for either right now.