Buy a beer from Amazon in seconds

Amazon’s new check-out concept means Canadian sports fans will still pay $13 for a beer, but at least they won’t have to wait in line for it. 

Driving the news: Just Walk Out, Amazon's checkout-free shopping system, is coming to Canada later this fall, with the technology rolling out at stadiums in Toronto and Calgary.

  • The system will be available for fans at the Saddledome in Calgary starting tomorrow, and at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto by October 10.

  • Amazon already has the systems implemented in 85-third party retailers in the US, UK and Australia, including airports, amusement parks and sports venues.  

Catch-up: To use the system, customers can scan a credit card as they walk into the store, pick up what they need, and walk out in as little as 10 seconds.

  • Overhead cameras and sensors — which use generative AI to track customers' activity — put together a tab as they shop and bill their card afterward.

Why it matters: Checkout-free shopping experience could become the new norm. Amazon is positioning the system as a win for customers and businesses, with partners like Seattle’s Lumen Field reporting a 112% jump in total sales per game throughout the football season.

Yes, but: The collection of data and constant surveillance that the system requires could freak out customers. A report by the EU data privacy watchdog noted that the customer biometric data collected by Just Walk Out could be sold for targeted advertising.

  • A US data protection group recently filed a lawsuit alleging that Amazon used the system’s surveillance to illegally collect and share customer data with Starbucks. 

Bottom line: Given the system's initial success, customers (so far) seem fine with giving up their personal data to get back in time to watch the start of the third period.—LA