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(Image: Amazon)

Today, Amazon announced the introduction of the Dash Cart as a way of making shopping for one to two bags of groceries more convenient and quicker.

The Dash Cart replaces the need to visit the checkout when you’ve grabbed all the groceries you need. Instead, the Dash Cart uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and “sensor fusion” to identify products as you place them into the cart. Then, when leaving you pass through a Dash Cart lane, which automatically takes payments for the items.

(Image: Amazon)

Amazon plans to introduce the Dash Cart at the Amazon grocery store in Woodland Hills, California first, but that store isn’t opening until later this year. When visiting, customers wanting to use a Dash Cart will need to sign in using a QR code found in the Amazon app on their smartphone. Holding the QR code up to a sensor on the cart links it to your account. After that, place one or two bags in the cart and start shopping.

Every item placed in the cart will automatically have its barcode scanned and a beep will be heard, but if a scan fails the cart will tell you by turning its integrated lights orange and you’ll be asked to remove the item and try again. If an item doesn’t have a barcode, for example, an apple, you’ll need to enter a PLU number on the Dash Cart’s touchscreen display and then confirm the weight. That way you can add lots of apples if you so desire.

Once you have all your groceries (or the bags are full), the cart simply needs to be wheeled through the Dash Cart lane. After that, you can return the cart, pick up your bags, and leave. Payment is taken automatically via the card associated with your Amazon account and a receipt will be emailed to you. It’s basically the equivalent of the Amazon Go store experience, only you get to buy two big bags of groceries rather than just a few items. And if it proves popular, I can see Amazon making the Dash carts bigger to fit three or four bags in.

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