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Amazon's first brick-and-mortar grocery store reshapes shopping experience

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Amazon's first brick-and-mortar grocery store, Amazon Go, has launched in Seattle. The company said the 1,800-square-foot location offers the world’s most advanced shopping technology, allowing customers to walk into the store, grab whatever they want and walk out without waiting in line or paying at a register.

The store offers ready-to-eat meal and snack options, grocery staples, locally sourced food and the company's chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits, with all the ingredients needed to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes. The company said the store’s footprint is compact so busy customers can get in and out fast.

"Four years ago we asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout?” Amazon said. "Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go? Our answer to those questions is Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping."

All a customer needs is an Amazon account, a supported smartphone and the free Amazon Go app.

Amazon said its checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning. Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When customers are done shopping, they can just leave the store. Shortly after, Amazon will charge the customer's Amazon account and send a receipt.

At the moment the store is only open to Amazon employees, but it is expected to open to the public in early 2017.