Microsoft is working on its own technology that should render checkouts in stores obsolete. The American company says it wants to be an ally for the retail sector, mostly in its struggle against Amazon Go.
Stores without checkout are the latest hype in the retail sector, especially in supermarkets and convenience stores: most major retailers are trialling automatic scanning processes, so that customers do not need to queue any more at the checkout zone. Microsoft is developing its own technology that should be able to understand what shoppers put in their cart, sources tell Reuters: a camera on a shopping cart is designed to register what customers buy. Walmart has been named as an important candidate for a possible collaboration.
Microsoft's challenge to Amazon is not coincidental: the Washington-based company suffers heavily from Amazon's impact on its cloud services. The company as therefore decided to assemble a team of a dozen people to work on artificial intelligence for stores. Moreover, six partners are working on side projects for similar systems, based on Microsoft's cloud services. However, it remains to be seen if the Microsoft based systems will be able to reduce the cost of their technologies, as their intended target the retail sector already struggles with paper thin margins...