Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ Tech Will Power The O2 Concession Stand—After the Company Gave Up on Just Walk Out Grocery Stores

the o2 will juse amazon just walk out tech for automated concessions
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the o2 will juse amazon just walk out tech for automated concessions
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Photo Credit: Amazon UK

Despite giving up on its own Just Walk Out technology to power self-serve grocery stores, Amazon isn’t giving up on the tech entirely. A new partnership with The O2 Arena in London will see the technology power cashier-less checkout there—ideally to reduce long lines while at the venue.

Amazon Fresh grocery stores featured the Just Walk Out technology as early as 2016 in smaller stores located in California and Washington. Now in 2024, new Amazon Fresh stores are being built without Just Walk Out, while existing stores that utilize the technology will have the tech removed. Just Walk Out is supposed to allow consumers to grab whatever they want from a store and leave, without a checkout process.

A May 2023 report reveals that the tech is not as robust as Amazon paints, stating that “Amazon has more than 1,000 people in India working on Just Walk out as of mid-2022.” Their job description includes manually reviewing transactions and labeling images from videos to train the machine learning model that Just Walk Out utilizes to create its checkout-free process.

“As of mid-2022, Just Walk Out required about 700 human reviews per 1,000 sales,” the report states. That’s far above the internal target of reducing the number of human reviews needed to between 20 to 50 per 1,000 sales. Ouch. Perhaps Amazon feels the concession environment in live entertainment with its limited menu will be an easier environment to train its machine learning model than a grocery store that carries thousands of SKUs.

Just Walk Out tech was deployed in 20 Amazon Go stores, 40 Amazon Fresh grocery stores, and two Whole Foods stores. Other third-party outlets on board include 30 stores operated by other companies in U.S. sports stadiums, 12 airports, and a university store in Arlington, Virgina. Now add The O2 Arena in London to that list.

The O2 Arena will implement the technology this summer, allowing fans to tap their card or mobile wallet, grab their chosen drinks and snacks, and then get back to their seats. Other venues in the UK that now feature the technology include ExCel London and The SSE Arena in Belfast.