REDMOND, WA – Microsoft and Kroger have teamed up on a high-tech grocery store experiment, and it’s being tested in Redmond.
Microsoft has helped Kroger remodel the Bella Bottega QFC location to include digital shelves. In Redmond, the digital shelves guide shoppers who use the QFC app to finding products, according to a Bloomberg report.
At the Bella Bottega QFC 10 minutes from Microsoft headquarters, a little more than half of the shelves have been converted into digital displays that light up with a personalized icon when shoppers reach an item they put on the shopping list in the Kroger app. Ellipse-shaped black-and-white devices that look like a cross between a camera and a smoke detector are mounted on ceilings, crunching data and monitoring for out-of-stock items. In a refrigerated meat case, temperature sensors appear every few feet, automatically flagging workers if the case warms up too much, helping prevent the roughly $10,000 worth of meat inside from spoiling.
The Microsoft-Kroger partnership comes after Amazon’s entry into grovery retail with its checkout-free AmazonGo stores. There are now four AmazonGo locations in downtown Seattle (one, in the Macy’s building, is not completely open to the public).
Image via Google Maps