While Amazon continues to test out its cashier and checkout-less Go stores, Reuters reports that Microsoft is working on similar technology. Besides a number of partners who are working on products in the vein of Amazon Go -- which allows shoppers to simply take items off the shelf, put them in their cart and leave with a bill automatically tabulated based on computer vision watching what they buy -- it has an internal team that has tried out using cameras attached to shopping carts and mobile apps. The report calls out a small team within the company's Business AI group dedicated to retail tech, and said CEO Satya Nadella recommended a device that could live on-site to manage cameras without transferring data to the cloud. Microsoft isn't new to the space and in 2017 it showed off a slew of retail-focused products at the National Retail Federation's Big Show event that included a version of the Skip mobile app that's in testing in grocery stores. With Skip, shoppers scan each item as they shop using the app, then check out on their phone when they've finished.
Cashierless store Zippin will open its doors to customers in San Francisco for the first time this week, beating Amazon Go to become the first cashierless store in the city. The first Go store opened in Seattle in January. New cashierless stores from Amazon are scheduled to be opened in San Francisco and Chicago, Amazon announced in May. An Amazon spokesperson asked for details about when additional Go stores will open had not responded at the time this story was published. As with Amazon Go and competitors like Inokyo, which opened a cashierless store in Mountain View, California last week, to shop at the Zippin store you must first download an app that gives you a QR code and then scan the code when you enter the store.