Microsoft appears to be working on tech to build cashier-less stores, to which end it’s reportedly spoken with everyone’s favorite big box store, Walmart.
The details: A report from Reuters says the tech company is working on a system which will track what a customer in a given brick-and-mortar store puts in their cart. It’s supposedly flashed samples of this tech and has even discussed potential collaboration with Walmart.
As yet, we have no idea how far along Microsoft are in their idea — it might not be ready for prime time for a while.
Why it matters: This is mostly a finger in the eye of Amazon, who have been working on their Amazon Go stores for a while — the first one opened earlier this year. Not that I don’t like the concept, but for me the distinct feeling of “ugh” that comes with the realization I need to visit Walmart doesn’t come because I need to deal with the cashiers.
Still, march of progress and all that. But if Microsoft does pair with a store, it’d have be one with a strong online habitat. That’s the whole point of Amazon Go stores: you’re basically using your Amazon account away from the computer. Without that convenience, some customers might rather restrict themselves to cash only, even if it means standing in line at a register on the way out.