FC Cincinnati's TQL Stadium is first pro stadium in Ohio to get Amazon's 'Just Walk Out' tech
A food and beverage market opening Wednesday at TQL Stadium uses Amazon's Just Walk Out technology to allow customers to quickly grab items without having to pay a cashier.
"We are the first professional sports stadium in Ohio to offer this improved fan experience," says co-CEO Jeff Berding.
The program is limited to one location — the SuperBook Marketplace in Section 116 near the main entrance gate. The shop will offer LaRosa's pizza, sandwiches, snacks and a variety of alcoholic (store attendants will check ID) and non-alcoholic beverages.
The store at TQL Stadium is the second in Ohio. The University of Dayton in April opened Ohio's first store powered by Amazon's Just Walk Out technology.
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Along with being the first location in Ohio, UD notes it's "the second convenience-style location at an institution of higher education and one of the largest third-party stores in the United States at 1,200 square feet to operate with Amazon-powered Just Walk Out technology."
UD also accepts meal plan dollars at its location.
How it works
Customers enter the store through a marked gate using a credit/debit card or Amazon One, a contactless identity service that links your palm print to your preferred payment method. Amazon One users hold their palm above the reader to enter.
Once inside, cameras track each customer's movements and which items they pick up. Sensors on shelves help with product identification and accuracy.
When you've selected all your items, you simply exit the store and your payment method is charged. If you'd like an itemized receipt, you can sign up to receive one at a kiosk in the store.
"The experience is facilitated by state-of-the-art computer vision (CV), sensor fusion, and deep learning algorithms made possible by several pieces of hardware and a system of in-store and cloud microservices that we’ve designed," Amazon writes in a blog post explaining the technology.
FC Cincinnati's vice president of hospitality strategy, Brett Taylor, breaks down the experience this way:
"There's cameras installed, they assign a number on the top of your head, and they track you throughout the store. When you pull some of the snacks, it's weighted, so it knows that an item has been picked off. So it just adds up the total and then you walk out and you get emailed a receipt."
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Here's a promotional video from Amazon and Hudson showing the Just Walk Out technology in action.
When you can try it out
A team from Amazon is making final adjustments and testing the system ahead of the grand opening Wednesday.
"My role in this is to make sure that all the sensors and everything — the technology that we've actually put in the cameras and all the installations — work correctly," explains Salma Bhim, tech deployment/tech validation program manager with Amazon.
"I'm the last person on this site technically to give the green light that we are all good ... I'll basically grab an item, put it back, regrab it, to make sure that it was captured correctly, and then that the customer is charged correctly with the accurate receipt."
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Bhim says the technology makes it easy and convenient to grab items and go, even if you've forgotten your credit card (using the palm-reading technology).
FC Cincinnati staff will be on hand to answer questions, monitor the store, help people enroll in Amazon One, and keep an eye on over-crowding.
There is an enrollment kiosk at the store where people can register their palm print to use the palm-reading technology.