Amazon smart cart lets grocery shoppers skip checkout

Amazon’s latest cashierless shopping innovation comes as stores and customers strive to do business while reducing risk of exposure to coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 15 July 2020

Amazon smart cart lets grocery shoppers skip checkout

  • The Dash Cart requires a smartphone loaded with the Amazon application

SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon has introduced a smart grocery cart that will let shoppers skip checkout queues.

Amazon’s latest cashierless shopping innovation comes as merchants and customers strive to do business while reducing risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Dash Carts that use embedded sensors and cameras to tally prices of items placed inside will debut in an Amazon grocery store to open in southern California later this year.

“It’s a new smart shopping cart that makes a quick grocery trip even quicker by allowing you to skip the checkout line,” the technology titan, which owns the Whole Foods market chain, said in a post.

“When you’re done shopping, you’ll simply exit through the store’s Amazon Dash Cart lane, and your receipt will be emailed to you.”

Each cart uses computer vision software and sensor data to identify what is put inside, showing a running total along with item descriptions and prices on a display, according to Amazon.

Using a Dash Cart requires a smartphone loaded with the Amazon application, which synchs by scanning a QR code and then charges the purchase to the credit card on file, the US-based company explained.

Amazon early this year began offering its “just walk out” technology to other retailers in a move aimed at boosting the use of the cashierless store system.

“Just Walk Out technology enables shoppers to simply enter a store, grab what they want, and just go,” the website said.

The move came shortly after Amazon launched its first full-size grocery store in Seattle using the cashierless model.

Amazon has already opened more than 20 smaller Amazon Go stores using the same system, including in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

The Go stores allow pre-registered customers to skip the cashier and allow their credit cards to be billed for their purchases, with the technology detecting what they take and return to the shelves.


Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

Updated 13 August 2020

Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

  • Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months

JEDDAH: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity is plunging in lockstep with Turkey’s collapsing economy and the country is on the verge of a potentially devastating recession, financial experts have told Arab News.
The value of the Turkish lira has fallen to 7.30 against the US dollar and the central bank has spent $65 billion to prop up the currency, according to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months as the government moved to help families during the coronavirus pandemic, but the result has been a surge in inflation to 12 percent.
With the falling lira and increased price of imported goods, the living standards of many Turks who earn in lira but have dollar debts have fallen sharply.
The economy is expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year. The official unemployment rate remains at 12.8 percent because layoffs are banned, although many experts say the real figures are far higher.
To complete the perfect storm, tourism revenues and exports have been decimated by the pandemic, and foreign capital has fled amid fears over economic trends and the independence of the central bank.
Wolfango Piccoli, of Teneo Intelligence in London, said logic dictated an increase in interest rates but “this is unlikely to happen.”
Piccoli said central bank officials would strive to avoid an outright rate hike at their monetary policy meeting on Aug. 20. “A mix of controlled devaluation and backdoor policies, such as limiting Turkish lira’s liquidity, remains their preferred approach,” he said.
There is speculation of snap elections, and Erdogan’s view is that higher interest rates cause inflation, despite considerable economic evidence to the contrary.