A photo of a person holding a cell phone with an Amazon shopping cart on the screen.

Photo credit: I AM NIKOM / Shutterstock

Imagine a world with no more grocery lines and no more checkouts. That’s Amazon’s vision for the future and it may be coming a lot sooner than you think.

Beginning early next year, Amazon will be open its first public grocery store, Amazon Go. The store, located in Seattle, is already open to employees. However, it’s still in the testing phase, and won’t be open to the public until 2017.

Here’s how it works.

Advanced censors follow patrons around the store and bill consumers using their Amazon Prime account. The censors have the ability to detect items, prices, and quantities. Walk in. Walk out. It’s that simple.

But although the technology is cool, critics worry that the new development could put thousands of workers out of jobs. After all, it basically negates the need for cashiers altogether.

And it won’t just be a problem for Seattleites. According to leaked documents, Amazon plans to open more than 2,000 of these stores nationwide. The new wave of technology is coming, and it’s coming fast.

The good news is that there will still be a need for store managers. After all, someone has to restock all the merchandise. And there will undoubtedly be theft concerns, meaning that there will be plenty of security jobs available.

Amazon Go is Amazon’s latest attempt to enter the food industry. The online retailer is still brainstorming ways to make grocery shopping easier, faster, and more convenient.

Amazon Go comes on the tail end of Amazon Fresh, which is a food delivery service. As of now, Amazon Fresh is only available in major metropolitan areas.

There’s no word yet on the exact date that the store will open. But one thing’s for sure: it’s going to send grocery stores scrambling to find ways to compete with Amazon’s low cost, super efficient, and ultra high-tech service.

About 

Mary Summers is a recent college grad and freelance writer residing in the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing about trending topics, health and beauty advice, music, film, and television.