Sensors and cameras are about to transform the shopping experience in a big way.
At the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York this week, there were countless presentations in the expo area showing what the future of in-store experiences looks like.
The Intel booth alone aggregated a wide range of companies using products that include Intel technology, all of which are targeted to retail stores.
Frictionless checkout was a recurring theme at the show, and companies at the Intel booth presented different variants of it.
UST Global, CloudPick and Retail Business Services demonstrated automated checkout using computer vision, motion detection, product sensing and recognition and payment integration. The idea is that a shopper with a phone picks up products in the store and walks out, being automatically charged, much like the Amazon Go automated stores.
Hisense showed a modular point-of-sale kiosk that allows payment by facial recognition. A loyalty shopper would be identified by facial recognition as they enter the store, the products selected would be tracked and the shopper would simply look at a screen to be automatically checked out.
A system by Flooid showed a checkout system with a high-precision scale to weigh selected products at checkout and a camera to automatically identify the products being purchased. The system also can catch if a product goes by but is not scanned to be charged.
Retailers still have to purchase and install such systems, which is what companies like these and many others were pitching to retailers at the NRF event.
Cameras and sensors are coming to retail in a major push.
The only questions left are the timeframe and the cost. This technology is sophisticated, but not cheap.