Social Distance Shopping: Amazon’s new smart shopping cart lets you check out without a cashier

The Dash Cart is Amazon’s latest cashierless tech.

Amazon is expanding its real-world footprint with another unconventional physical product: a shopping cart. While it certainly looks like an aesthetic upgrade to your standard grocery store cart, the Dash Cart, as it’s called, is in fact a smart version of the tried-and-true food transport vehicle.

It’s equipped with a touchscreen and other various hardware components to automatically detect what items you’re placing inside and even how many of those items you’ve picked off the shelf. When you’re done shopping, you’re allowed to take the cart through a special lane that checks you out digitally without requiring a human cashier to ring you up.

The idea builds on Amazon’s approach of trying to take the convenience it’s mastered in the digital realm and bring it into the real world. For years now, Amazon has been trying to apply all the learning its picked up from developing Alexa-powered products, including microwaves and wall clocks, and establishing a brick-and-mortar presence through its Whole Foods acquisition and growing Amazon Go store network. Those efforts are now resulting in hybrid products that bridge the digital and physical, if only in small and experimental bursts.[ … ]

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