A visit to Amazon Go, the really hard part is tracking of people

I was at University of Washington today meeting with a supply chain professor and had time to add a visit to the Amazon Go store. The store is next to Amazon domes.


Before I went I found this coconut cake I wanted to try. I also picked up a drink, chips, and a sandwich.


what was interesting is the 2D code that amazon packaged items had versus a UPC code. Which then got me to think that there are cameras pointing from the bottom and surrounding areas to read the UPC code and detect it gets moved to your bag. When you put it back it removes from your cart. OK. easy.

Then i thought what is the hard part is uniquely identifying all the people. When you look at the the number of cameras it makes sense to track the people. See this Arstechnica article for more details.

So basically by watching me. Amazon know my height. Can guess my weight. Can track my movements. How i walk. Facial recognition. Most likely. I have now been cataloged by Amazon. tracking thousands of people a day as unique individuals is much harder than tracking a few hundred grocery skus with known locations and bar codes.

I will go back to the Amazon store with a Microsoft friend and do a walk through. Yes I still a friend at Microsoft. :-). 

The store was interesting and got me thinking of some new stuff.  But actually my talk with University of Washington Supply Chain Professor was 10X more valuable. But I am keeping that conversation to myself and friends.