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Amazon.com Inc.’s “Just Walk Out” technology, which was initially thought to be fully automated, actually relied on 1,000 contractors in India who acted as virtual cashiers. The technology used cameras and sensors to track customer purchases, but it was not as automated as previously believed. This revelation has led Amazon to shift its focus to “Dash Carts” and traditional self-checkout counters in response to challenges faced by the Just Walk Out technology. Despite initial excitement around the cashier-less technology, it required human intervention for 7 out of 10 sales, making it more costly than traditional self-checkout methods.

This decision by Amazon comes after the company introduced the Just Walk Out technology to the clothing retail sector in 2023, signaling its interest in expanding cashier-less shopping beyond convenience and grocery stores. However, the technology did not meet Amazon’s targets and relied heavily on human monitoring, making it less efficient and cost-effective than anticipated.

Amazon’s stock closed slightly lower on Tuesday following this news, highlighting the challenges faced by innovations in retail technology. While these technologies may seem seamless at first glance, they often require significant investments in infrastructure and human resources to be successful. Subscribe to the Benzinga Tech Trends newsletter for updates on developments in technology and retail.

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