In a groundbreaking move, Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology is reshaping the shopping landscape, transcending conventional checkout lines and leaving an indelible mark on stadiums, including the famed Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. Harnessing the potential of generative AI and cutting-edge technologies, this innovation is captivating audiences and propelling customer satisfaction to new heights.
Last year, Lumen Field, a stadium revered by Seahawks fans, made history as the first NFL venue to introduce Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology. The brainchild of dedicated Amazon researchers and technologists, this visionary technology enables fans to enjoy a seamless shopping experience. With no need to wait in lengthy checkout queues or halt at a cashier, spectators can effortlessly grab their desired concessions and swiftly return to their seats, enhancing their game-day excitement.
The Just Walk Out technology integrates an impressive array of advancements, including computer vision, object recognition, sophisticated sensors, deep machine learning models, and the mesmerizing capabilities of generative AI. These technologies, harmoniously woven into the fabric of the system, work diligently behind the scenes to instantly discern purchases, accurately charge customers, and facilitate a hassle-free exit with their selected items.
Gerard Medioni, Vice President and Distinguished Scientist at Amazon, emphasized the complexity behind creating this seemingly magical shopping experience. He underscored the significant challenge of seamlessly determining which customer selected specific items, a feat achieved through years of dedicated research and development.
The success story of Just Walk Out technology extends far beyond the Seahawks’ Lumen Field. It is now available in over 70 Amazon-owned stores and more than 85 third-party locations across the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. From sports stadiums and airports to grocery stores, convenience stores, and college campuses, this innovation is revolutionizing how people shop, eliminating the frustration of waiting in lines.
At Lumen Field, the impact of Just Walk Out technology has been nothing short of remarkable. Following its implementation in September 2022 at District Market, a popular convenience store within the stadium, sales more than doubled compared to the previous store in the same location. Furthermore, fan satisfaction reached an all-time high, prompting the swift expansion of this technology to eight additional stadium concession areas, setting a global precedent.
Zach Hensley, Vice President of Operations for the Seattle Seahawks and General Manager of Lumen Field, expressed enthusiasm over the technology’s performance, noting a dramatic increase in throughput, reduced congestion, and a smoother flow of fans at full capacity. Just Walk Out has seamlessly integrated into the stadium experience, allowing fans to quickly grab their refreshments and return to the action on the field.
Taking a closer look at the technology, it becomes evident that a combination of computer vision and machine learning plays a pivotal role. Upon entering a store, shoppers either use a credit card at the entry gate or scan their palm using Amazon One—a palm-based identity and payment system that links their credit card for streamlined transactions.
Specialized cameras strategically placed throughout the store utilize computer vision and machine learning to track and identify items selected by customers. Jon Jenkins, Vice President of Just Walk Out technology, explained that the system accurately keeps track of purchases, adding and removing items from a virtual cart as customers interact with products on the shelves. Crucially, the technology distinguishes between shoppers without compromising privacy, ensuring a seamless and efficient shopping experience.
It’s essential to note that Just Walk Out technology operates independently from Amazon One and does not collect or utilize any biometric data from shoppers. The emphasis on customer trust and privacy remains paramount, with the technology preserving anonymity while providing a streamlined, secure shopping journey. Shoppers are assigned a temporary numeric code upon entering the store, linking them to their payment instrument, which disappears upon exit, preserving their privacy and enhancing their shopping experience.
Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology represents a monumental leap in retail innovation, promising a future where waiting in checkout lines becomes a relic of the past. As it continues to expand its footprint globally, this transformative technology is poised to redefine the way people shop, setting a new standard for convenience and efficiency in retail environments.