Pick and Go: Scanning No Longer Required, Supermarkets Swap Cashiers for Cameras

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Tesco, one of the world’s largest supermarket operators, is testing cashierless stores solely dependent cameras.

Frictionless Pick and Go

Tesco, a UK firm doing business in 11 countries, is testing a cashierless store design that goes beyond Amazon's Go.

Tesco is not dependent on bar codes, RFID smart tags, or customer scanning.

Please consider Spurred by Amazon, Supermarkets Try Swapping Cashiers for Cameras

Tesco is one of several grocers testing cashierless stores with cameras that track what shoppers pick, so they pay by simply walking out the door.

Tesco’s 4,000-square-foot test store uses 150 ceiling-mounted cameras to generate a three-dimensional view of products as they are taken off shelves. In its recent demo, Tesco’s system detected shoppers as they walked around the store. It also identified a group of products when a person holding them stood in front of a screen, tallying up their total price. Tesco is considering identifying shoppers through an app or loyalty card when they enter the store and then charging their app when they leave.

Tesco told investors its method costs one-tenth of systems used by its competitors, partly because it only uses cameras. Amazon Go uses cameras and sensors to track what shoppers pick. Amazon customers scan a QR code at a gate when they enter a store, then walk out when finished.

French retail giant Carrefour SA is also running tests in at least two stores where cameras track what is taken off shelves and shoppers are charged automatically when they leave. Carrefour is working with French startup Qopius Technology, whose cameras and software can read labels on products.

Limitations

For now, Tesco's pick and go is only in use at smaller stores and it's still a test.

And what about something like a bunch of bananas or a handful of potatoes?

The technology seems better suited for department stores that do not have weigh-priced items and for which it would be easier to place a RFID tag.

Then again, who needs department stores? Amazon and online retailers are killing those stores.

The bottom line is the same in either case, the end of cashiers is coming.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (25)
No. 1-7
Matson
Matson

Already happening in China for over two years. This is a paradigm shift that can only be done by technology, not cash!! Personally, I won't be using this. I'm a big supporter of cash over government control, and you should be too.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

The whole world is becoming a casino floor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIPmu6bYZOs

gflop
gflop

After living in NYC for a few years, and watching the creative ways people used to jump subway turnstiles -- my money is on the hooligans making a complete mockery of this technology. The NY transit authority has a massive police force (above and beyond the NYC police force) trying to chase down turnstile jumpers. According to the transit authority, the turnstile jumpers are winning.

Vending machines, where the goods are "locked up" until the consumer inserts money are far from infallible either.

The hooligans will take a bat or a crowbar (or a garbage can) and smash the front window of the cashierless / unguarded store. Their group is waiting to loot the store as soon as the opening is made, and they are gone by the time the police arrive.

If the store installs smash proof glass, the hooligans will steal a car and drive it through the front wall, their homeboys waiting just to the side to commence looting when the opening is made. Unbreakable glass also makes for a fire hazard against paying customers.

The hooligans are going to win in every large city.

In small towns, stores are like office water coolers -- its where people get their local news and see their neighbors. A soulless camera and UPC scanner just isn't the same

RonJ
RonJ

"The bottom line is the same in either case, the end of cashiers is coming."

Bottom line, the end of purchasing privacy is coming. Everyone will be profiled by what products they buy. How many points will it count in one's social credit score?

KidHorn
KidHorn

Like driverless cars, I suspect in a couple of years, it will still be a prototype.

How does it handle people putting the wrong product in the wrong place? Or someone puts a can of beans back where the soup is?

I think something more realistic is having a scale in the cart. You scan an item and place it in the cart. The exact same way the current self checkout works. The scale can also weigh produce that's sold by the pound. You select bananas and then when you place it in the cart, it detects the weight.

Abrealist
Abrealist

yeah what could go wrong ? 'walk in run out" Flash mobs will have field day

Abrealist
Abrealist

Mish there's A new open( no censor per se) site "Pocketnet" your blog topics would fit in. just saying in my opinion