Wundermart, AiFi deploying autonomous checkout at European stores

Wundermart, which builds unmanned, data driven retail marketplaces, is teaming with AiFi, an AI computer vision technology provider, on an autonomous convenience store effort based in Europe.

The deployment involves 20 locations in the first quarter of 2021, according to a press release.

Wundermart will implement AiFi's computer vision technology into existing stores to enhance the shopping experience, remove friction at checkout, improve inventory management and deliver in-depth consumer insights.

The computer vision technology will also be implemented in Wunderware, a plug and play SaaS package for autonomous retail. In the near future, Wundermart and Wunderware plan to open more than 1,000 locations equipped with AiFi technology.

"The pandemic has caused everything in our lives to shift, including how we shop. This shift made innovation a requirement, which is why we are pleased to partner with Wundermart to make its unmanned marketplaces entirely contactless," Steve Gu, co-founder and CEO of AiFi, said in the release.

"Our computer vision technology enhances Wundermart's convenient in-store experience and enables shoppers to continue on with their everyday lives in a safe and efficient manner."

AiFi's camera-only solution offers top industry standards in product recognition, shopper tracking and receipt accuracy. Wundermart will implement AiFi's OASIS to track automatic shop replenishments from suppliers, which will enhance performance and data integrity.

AiFi's OASIS is trained to recognize tens of thousands of SKUs with pinpoint accuracy including shelved products of any size and food that is warm, frozen, or fresh, as well as dispensed drinks and more.

Currently, Wundermart customers enter a store, grab items, scan each item, and make payment at the self-checkout kiosk. Once AiFi's autonomous shopping model is deployed at the stores, customers can choose to either scan their store app or credit card at the kiosk before or after grabbing their desired items.

Customers can then walk out of the store without needing to scan each individual item, as AiFi's computer vision technology allows for a more efficient and frictionless shopping experience.

"AiFi's technology helps us create a delightful, convenient and safe shopping experience for our shoppers. They can simply scan in, select what items they want to purchase and walk out," Laurens de Kleine, co-founder of Wundermart, said in the release.

"The system will also be used to improve accuracy of automated restocking, one of the many functions in our total solution for autonomous retail. AiFi has pioneered and become the global leader in computer vision technology. This partnership will bring us closer to our mission to transform the future of retail."

Wundermart will also use computer vision to obtain better insights in consumer behavior in order to improve the shop offering and performance. This data is processed inside each store, and AiFi's technology does not use facial recognition or collect biometric data, which ensures the highest level of customer privacy.

Wundermart's stores vary between 50 to 200 square feet and are located in areas such as hotels, offices and transportation hubs. AiFi and Wundermart plan to announce additional store implementations later this year.