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Aeon plans autonomous stores with Cloudpick technology

Japanese retailer Aeon will open an autonomous supermarket in Tokyo this summer. A store of its Daiei banner in the Koto district will be equipped with camera and sensor technology from Chinese start-up Cloudpick. Following the example of Amazon Go Stores, customers will need an app to enter the store. All selected products will be registered automatically and debited when leaving the shop.

In the new Daiei store, employees are only needed for replenishing the shelves. Checkout works without cashiers. This saves the retailer costs and, more importantly, counteracts staff shortage in Japan. It is expected that Aeon will equip more shops with Cloudpick technology once the system has been successfully introduced.

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Computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) digitise shopping

The solution uses computer vision, machine learning and IoT (Internet of Things) sensor technology. Software deploying artificial intelligence evaluates data from cameras and various sensors to recognise behavioural patterns. It can thus clearly identify products, assign them to the respective customer and analyse their shopping behaviour.

Start-up Cloudpick, founded in 2017, has now equipped around 100 stores with its technologies, outside China in the USA, Canada, Japan, Korea and Singapore. Schwarz Group’s cashierless mini-store Shop Box on the campus of Heidelberg University also uses Cloudpick technology.

This video shows how a supermarket automated with Cloudpick technology works. (Video: Cloudpick)

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Joachim Pinhammer

Joachim Pinhammer supports retail and technology companies with consulting and marketing expertise. He was Senior Analyst and Research Director Retail Technology at the London-based analyst group Planet Retail. Prior to that, he was the global marketing director for the retail division of Wincor Nixdorf (now Diebold Nixdorf). Joachim Pinhammer is a regular speaker at events organised by Messe Düsseldorf (EuroShop and EuroCIS), the EHI and further industry conferences. His reports are regularly published by trade magazines and online retail industry media.

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