Verifying shopping trolley contents at checkout
The introduction to Australia of self-service checkouts in 2008 promised faster checkout. However, it created some problems such as increased shoplifting opportunities, apart from restricted space for customers to unload, scan and bag.
Supersmart, a mobile phone app developed in Israel in 2014 and introduced into a major Israeli supermarket chain in July 2016, appears to have speeded up a very slow Israeli supermarket checkout experience but may also offer some scope for better detection of shoplifting.
As customers select items and place them in their trolleys, they use their phones to scan the barcodes. Fresh produce is weighed and barcoded at self-service machine similar to the ones we know from Coles self-service nut counters.
When the shopping is complete, the customer proceeds to a stand-alone supermarket-controlled scanning bay which verifies the contents of the trolley and authorises payment through a mobile platform. And the customer then bags the purchases.
The precision, accuracy and reliability of the process has exceeded expectations.
At present the system is officially restricted to 15 items but the aim of the technology is to have an unrestricted number of items.
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