Amazon is expanding its real-world footprint with another unconventional physical product. A shopping cart while it certainly looks like an aesthetic upgrade to your standard grocery store cart. The Dash Cart, as it’s called, is in fact a smart version of the try-and-true food transport vehicle.
It’s equipped with a touchscreen and other various hardware components to automatically detect. What items you’re placing inside and even how many of those items you’ve picked off the shelf. When you’re done shopping, you allow taking the cart through a special lane. That checks you out digitally without requiring a human cashier to ring you up.
The idea builds on Amazon’s approach of trying to take the convenience it’s mastered in the digital realm and bring it into the real world. For years now, Amazon has been trying to apply all the learning it’s picked up from developing Alexa-powered products. Including microwaves and wall clocks, and establishing a brick-and-mortar presence. Through its Whole Foods acquisition and growing Amazon Go store network. Those efforts are now resulting in hybrid products that bridge the digital and physical, if only in small and experimental bursts.
The Dash Cart is coming first to Amazon’s grocery store in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. The store, first confirmed last year. Is not an Amazon Go store, meaning it does not have the cameras, sensors, and other equipment. Built into the ceiling for automatically detecting items you take off the shelves. Instead, this is your standard, everyday grocery store, only it has smart Amazon-made grocery carts for you to use.
The store is up and running for fulfilling online grocery orders. But the physical space isn’t yet open to the public. Amazon says it’s aiming to open the store later this year. The store joins Amazon’s network of existing. Whole Foods locations and its larger-format Amazon Go grocery store that opened in Seattle back in February.