A Americanas S.A. will open its first completely autonomous store to the public this Tuesday (23): the Ame Go. Located at Rio de Janeiro International Airport (RIOgaleão), the establishment allows the purchase of cell phone chargers, food, books, headphones, among others, without having to go to the cashier or register them at a self-service terminal. Instead, you just need to use the app from Digital Ame Digital Wallet to access the store, choose your products and leave.
This is the first Ame Go unit open to the public after a two-year trial period. The solution focuses on both agility and practicality. For this, all steps are performed only by the consumer, without the need for intermediation by employees, and through artificial intelligence and computer vision resources.
Everything works with the help of the Ame Digital app. In it, the customer taps “Pagar” and then goes to “Pagar nas Lojas Americanas”. Then, just point the QR Code that will appear on the cell phone screen to the turnstile reader, access the store, choose what you want and leave. There, the payment will be processed automatically in the digital wallet.
What is it like to shop at Ame Go?
I had the chance to visit the new Ame Go autonomous store this Monday (22). Initially, it is exactly what was described above: two turnstiles that are released when scanning the QR code. And even then you are surprised. After all, where are the employees? Where I pay? What do you mean you don’t have any terminal? It’s pretty unusual.
There is also a considerable variety of products. Initially, I came across batteries, plug adapters, cell phone chargers, cables and headphones, among other items that can be essential on a trip. Further on, you will find toiletries, toys, books, sweets, food and drinks.
And this is where agility and simplicity come into play. Once you’ve chosen what you want, you just need to pick them up and go. Unlike what we are used to in supermarkets with self-service terminals, it is not necessary to read the bar code of each item. On the contrary, just walk to the turnstile and leave.
And how does it all work?
The solution is the result of a partnership between Americanas and Zippin, a startup specializing in autonomous models. As already mentioned, the Ame Digital app is the starting point of this whole experience. In addition to making the payment, the application also generates a token that allows access to the store. In addition, this numerical sequence is also used to identify the user during purchases.
Identification is made with the help of cameras spread across the ceiling. This equipment performs the consumer’s body biometrics, which is linked to the token generated by Ame Digital, so that it is recognized within Ame Go. Then, the cameras create a kind of “story” of the customer within the establishment.
There is one more component to make the whole story more complete. Each product is positioned on scales spread across the shelves. And they are the ones that help to identify the quantity of items removed by customers from the shelves. Then, this data is related to the information from the cameras to know exactly what is being purchased by the consumer.
The final step happens when the consumer goes to the turnstile. With no cashier and no terminal, all product verification is carried out using data collected by the sensors, which will be analyzed later. After that, the amount will be credited to the digital wallet without even having to touch the cell phone to confirm.
Payment is made by Ame Digital wallet
All financial transaction takes place in the Ame Digital app. When data processing ends, the consumer receives a notification to alert him that there has been an approved purchase. Through the app extract, you can track the purchase amount and what was purchased. The invoice is also sent to the customer’s email.
But payment will not always be processed immediately. In some cases, the value can be deducted right at the exit if you are just inside the store and pick up only one product, for example. However, when there are more people, more items, and other extra variables, it can take longer to complete this transaction.
During testing, Americanas explained to me that this delay happens when there is more data to be processed. In fact, the entire system is based on images captured by cameras and data collected by other sensors. And the more information, the more intensive the processing, which tends to require more time for completion to take place.
Ame Go is located in the domestic departure terminal of Rio de Janeiro International Airport, RIOgaleão, next to gate B. The opening hours will be from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm at this moment.