Microsoft is reportedly exploring ways to leverage its AI tech to automate checkout at retail stores. According to a report from Reuters, Microsoft's system will let retailers track what people put in their carts, and the company is already in talks with retailers, including Walmart, about using its tech.
The report comes as retail giant Amazon is already up and running with similar tech at its Amazon Go store in Seattle. For Amazon Go, the company relies on a combination of AI technologies to eliminate the need for cashiers and checkout lines. Instead, Amazon is able to track what shoppers pick up and automatically bill their credit cards when leaving the store.
With pressure from Amazon mounting on traditional retailers, a partnership with Microsoft could make sense, provided it's not too costly a venture.
If it pans out, this move would be another addition to an area in which Microsoft is increasingly focused: the intelligent edge. The "edge" in intelligent edge refers to Internet of Things (IoT) devices and consumer electronics that are close to where they need to be, but still maintain connections to each other and the cloud. Those include everything from your PC to toys, drones, and lightbulbs. The intelligence comes from these devices' ability to use AI to sense what's going on around them and act based on what's happening.
It's still a new concept to many, but Microsoft recently released a handy animated explanation that helps lay it out in simplified way.
Windows Central Newsletter
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
They've been doing this for years at some of their offices, nothing new. Just new to the genpub. MS has always had great R&D, putting it into use and marketing it, that's a while other ball of crazy yarn...
Amazon has gone into the retail business, otherwise they would be partnering with Amazon. Yes, it's good for Microsoft. Let's hope this take off. They're empowering others and partnering with big retailers don't need much public advertisement.
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.