Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” Will Make Shopping Easy For People With Disabilities

Whole foods

If you’ve ever been to one of the few Amazon Go stores, you have experienced “contactless shopping” – you walk in, grab the items you need and simply walk out! The store is equipped with cameras and sensors and the entire system has the ability to identify what you grabbed. Once you walk out, you get a receipt for the items you shopped for.

Amazon Go has always been considered an experimental “art of the possible” experience but the same technology will be implemented very soon at two Whole Foods stores in Sherman Oaks, CA and Washington DC. Starting next year, customers shopping at these two locations will be able to shop for their items and skip checkout lines entirely. What does this mean for people with disabilities? No more fumbling for credit cards, cash or ID at the checkout counter, especially for those who may not have good motor skills, hand tremors or other disabilities that may make the checkout process uncomfortable.

All it takes is scanning a barcode on the Amazon or Whole Foods app at the entrance so it knows who the customer is. For those who are unable to don’t want to scan the barcode, there will be an option to scan a person’s palm using the Amazon One palm scanning payment device. Those wanting to go through a checkout experience will still have access to checkout counters to pay with cash, pre-paid cards, Whole Foods gift cards or EBT and will receive a paper receipt.

Want to see what this shopping experience is like? Check out the video below.

Source: Supermarket News


  1. If they want to make this easy for individuals with disabilities they need to include EBT in the contactless check out. Many people who are disabled receive EBT…

  2. Not ready for prime time, I think. They show able-bodied people going through lanes (like a subway?) and getting things from tall shelves but it doesn’t really make things easier for people with disabilities. If you can’t see the labels, you’re still going to waste a lot of time fumbling with assistive technology.
    And people in wheelchairs still have to figure out how to get items down from high shelves. And what about people who cannot open their hands wide enough to get their palms scanned? Or who have no palms to scan? They will still have to fumble with cards or their phone.
    In my utopia, there would be voice activated computers where you could ask for the specific items you wanted — and the computer would talk to you in order to select for size and number. Or even to say they don’t have it. Then it would be bagged up and delivered to you somewhere near the computer you’re using. And you could pay for it while waiting for your delivery however you usually do.
    The palm scanner may go over well in ordinary stores with non-disabled customers, but I don’t think it offers any advantage to disabled people.

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