Article 3S997 Microsoft tech may help Walmart get rid of cashiers and checkout lines

Microsoft tech may help Walmart get rid of cashiers and checkout lines

Valentina Palladino
from Ars Technica on (#3S997)

Enlarge / Microsoft in Dublin, Ireland. (credit: Red Agenda / Flickr)

A report from Reuters suggests that Microsoft is looking to take on Amazon in the retail store space. Microsoft is reportedly working on technology that removes the need for cashiers and checkout lines in stores, similar to Amazon's technology already implemented in its Amazon Go brick-and-mortar store.

According to the report, Microsoft's technology tracks which items customers put into their carts. While it's unclear how far along Microsoft is in developing this technology, the company has reportedly shown sample tech to potential partners and has even talked to Walmart about implementing it.

The exact technology used in Microsoft's service isn't explained, but it may be linked to the company's new Kinect for Azure project. Detailed at Microsoft Build last month, this project builds on Kinect's current abilities and includes integrated computing power and a sensor package with a depth-mapping camera. It can be used to execute spatial mapping and motion tracking, which could come in handy when tracking customers' hands as they reach for items on shelves.

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