Amazon has a smart cart coming

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

Debuting in its California grocery store when it opens later this year, Amazon will roll out a new mini smart cart called Amazon Dash Cart (sharing the name of its discontinued Amazon Dash Button) that essentially mixes an on-the-go self-checkout experience with an Amazon Go experience.

The retailer unveiled the new technology on its site with an introductory video that shows how the technology works. Shoppers using the cart in the forthcoming Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Amazon grocery store open their Amazon app on their smart phone and scan it into the touchscreen on the cart to sync up the account with the cart. When shopping, a shopper takes an item off a shelf and will hear a beep as the item essentially gets scanned into the cart.

Like Amazon Go, the store will have computer vision technology and shelf sensors recognizing when items are selected off a shelf.

For non-barcode items like an apple or banana, the shopper types it into the screen like during self-checkout experiences and lowers it into the basket. There’s no checkout line to deal with, like an Amazon Go experience, having everything paid for through the app, enabling shoppers to simply exit the store and unpack the cart.

Additional features on the smart cart include a link to a user’s Amazon Alexa Shopping List to check items off as they shop and help view a subtotal. Carts also have a coupon scanner so savings can be immediately applied while shopping.

Receipts are emailed to the user after shopping, just like Amazon Go. The carts themselves are said to be built for more small- to medium-sized shopping trips, not the big stock up experience, again aligning with a more Amazon Go experience but bigger. The carts have room for one to two bags.