For better or worse, Amazon has revolutionized the retail landscape—and ultra-cool Dash Carts could be the behemoth’s next harbinger of the future. Available at the new Amazon Fresh grocery stores—including the first location in Maryland, which opened in August in Chevy Chase—the carts allow shoppers to bypass checkout lines. (At press time, a store in Gaithersburg was reportedly scheduled to open soon.) The Chevy Chase store still provides regular carts and real people to check you out, but if you select a Dash Cart, you’ll need to have the Amazon app to get a QR code that you’ll scan on the cart’s screen. As you drop items into the cart, a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion identifies and tallies them. Then, when leaving via the checker-less Dash Cart lane, a sensor recognizes the cart and charges your Amazon account. Now we’re just waiting for Jeff Bezos’ plans for stores in outer space.
Amazon Fresh, 5463 Wisconsin Ave. (The Collection at Chevy Chase), Chevy Chase, amazon.com/fresh