Amazon’s Just Walk Out has Left the Building

Amazon Dash Cart; image courtesy Amazon

[Update as of 4/17/2024] In a blog post clarifying its strategy around cashierless technology, Dilip Kumar, VP of AWS Applications at Amazon, noted how popular the company’s Just Walk Out (JWO) technology is in smaller retail locations. “The response from shoppers to Just Walk Out in small-format stores has been so strong that we will launch more small-format third-party Just Walk Out stores in 2024 than any year prior, more than doubling the number of third-party stores with the technology this year,” Kumar wrote. Currently, more than 140 third-party locations in the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada use JWO technology.

For larger spaces such as supermarkets, Amazon is working on improvements for the next generation of the technology. “We’re building edge compute and the associated algorithms to improve latency and accuracy for faster and more reliable receipts, a new set of algorithms for action recognition, and new sensors so retailers can offer customers even greater selection,” Kumar wrote.

Original story begins:

Amazon is removing its cashierless Just Walk Out (JWO) technology from its Amazon Fresh supermarkets and will not deploy the solution in new locations scheduled to open later this year, according to multiple media reports. The retailer will instead rely more heavily on its smart Amazon Dash Carts, which have been deployed at Fresh stores since 2020 as well as at Amazon subsidiary Whole Foods. The company already had moved the JWO unit out of its retail group and into its AWS cloud computing division.


Amazon spokesperson Carly Golden, quoted by CNBC, said “We’ve heard from customers that while they enjoyed the benefit of skipping the checkout line with Just Walk Out, they also wanted the ability to easily find nearby products and deals, view their receipt as they shop and know how much money they saved while shopping throughout the store.”

The retailing giant will continue to use the JWO technology in its Amazon Go stores and license the solution to other retailers. JWO’s reliance on computer vision and RFID to track which items each customer has chosen makes it more feasible in smaller selling spaces, such as convenience stores, fan merchandise stores in stadiums and even hospital gift shops.

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