Food, welcome to the future.

By Lauren Mazzo
Updated: December 05, 2016

It's time to face the facts: Robots are slowly infiltrating our lives. From Westworld to Siri to self-driving cars to the new Nike self-lacing sneakers, our world is getting more and more high-tech by the minute. One thing that's remained somewhat antiquated? The good old-fashioned grocery store. Haul around a cart, fill it with things you know you probably shouldn't buy, and wait in line forever to check out, only to be judged by the cashier for purchasing two bottles of pinot, four boxes of Oreos, and a family pack of frozen pizzas. (It's cheat day, okay?)

Those days-thankfully-might finally be over. Amazon just announced its newest venture offline and into brick-and-mortar: a high-tech grocery store experience that links up to your Amazon account and charges you for whatever you pick up and take out of the store, no checkout required. How? It's called Amazon Go, and it uses crazy cool "Just Walk Out" technology including computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning (stuff used in self-driving cars) to know what you're picking up, putting in your cart, or putting back (after remembering that you're supposed to lay off the sugar). You scan your Amazon Go app when entering the store, and shop as usual. It automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart, and then you just leave-yes really. Shortly after, they charge your Amazon account and you get a receipt. Amazing, right? (Also amazing: what happens to your brain when you're grocery shopping.)

And not only will they have your usual produce and packaged goods, they're also offering ready-made breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options, meaning it's perfect for a quickie lunch break when you don't have time to wait for hours in the DIY salad line.

The only bad news? The first store is located in Seattle, Washington, so unless you live there, you're out of luck (for now). They're currently in the beta program and opening to the public in early 2017. Then, hopefully, expanding elsewhere. (And while you're waiting for the tech, you can at least use your brain to grocery shop smarter to spend less money and waste less food.)


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