Microsoft wants to get rid of shop checkouts

Microsoft is reportedly planning to shake up the retail world with a move into till-free stores.

Reuters claims that the company is working on technology that would eliminate both checkout and the cashiers that run them from high-street shops.

Instead, Microsoft is developing a system that would track what items shoppers add to their baskets when visiting a store, before charging them as they leave.

Microsoft has refused to comment on the news, but Reuters quotes multiple sources as saying that the company has already demonstrated the technology to several major retailers in order to try and sign up initial customers.

It already has a primitive form of the technology on show at its Retail Experience Centre at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, where cameras track a shopper’s movement and automatically create a bill.

High-street showdown

Such a move would put Microsoft into direct competition with Amazon Go, which link directly to a customer’s account to get rid of the need to queue up and pay for items.

Cameras and sensors track what items are being removed from shelves, creating a shopping list for the consumer, which is then charged to their registered card and account.

Following four years of secret development, the first Amazon Go store opened in Seattle in January, selling groceries to registered users. Further openings are now set for San Francisco and Chicago later this year, with Amazon also planning to bring a checkout-free experience to its Whole Food shops soon.