Tired of those grocery shopping ordeals? Don’t worry, the future of grocery and retail stores is here. In short, shopping is going to get way easier with automatic shopping basket. You won’t have to torment yourself by waiting in those taxing queues at your grocery store.

Why?

Well, Panasonic has introduced a new kind of shopping basket — called the Regi-Robo, at a Lawson convenience store in Osaka, Japan. ANd, it is taking self-service checkouts to a new level. Grocery and retail stores will be driven by smartphones, smart baskets, robots, smart carts and shelves with digital screens.

Mike McNamara, Target Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer, told CNBC, “The technology is more mature now, and these things are becoming easier to do.”

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How It Works

The “Reji-Robo” basket has RFID tags that scan the items you pick in your shopping basket, and then it bags the items automatically.

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Via

  • Sensors installed in the basket will sense the RFID tags (electronic tags) on the groceries and track your purchases. RFID tags do not need to scan the product. It can exchange communication information, instead of barcode.
  • When you are done shopping, it already knows your total.
  • Once paid, you would have to place your basket on the machine at the check-out counter. The bottom of the basket opens up into the carry bag where in the groceries fall into it gently.
  • And you are ready-to-go.

Tech like this will definitely speed up our weekly grocery shopping trips. Both Panasonic and Lawson are anticipating to complete testing in February. If prefatory trials are successful, they are hoping a wider roll-out in 2018.

Amazon Go vs. Panasonic’s Automatic Shopping Basket

Panasonic’s human-less billing system comes a week after Amazon unveiled a smart convenience store in Seattle. This store does not have a robot or digital screen. It is a human-less bagging and billing store which downright eliminating the checkout process. Amazon Go uses computer vision, a whole bunch of sensors and deep learning to let you walk into a store. This futuristic store uses the same types of technologies that are found in self-driving cars – computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning. Amazon is calls it a “Just-Walk-Out Shopping” experience. 

When it comes to Panasonic’s Shopping Basket, the intention is to help save time and enhance self-checkout machines. So, unlike Amazon Go, this will not eliminate the need for human employees within the store. Some customers enjoy indulging in small conversations with the cashiers and this technology saves both labor and your chance to meet new people. Also, Panasonic’s smart shopping basket requires considerably less surveillance than Amazon Go.