Albert Heijn reports that a fully digital AH to go is being tested at the head office in Zaandam. In this shop you don’t have to scan products anymore, so there is no cash register.
The shop will be tested in the next two months. The idea is that shopping becomes just as easy as taking products from your fridge. For the trial, Albert Heijn is working with the American tech start-up AiFi and ING.
Marit van Egmond, CEO of Albert Heijn, refers to technological innovations that offer new opportunities. The new concept has to make shopping simple. In addition, the autonomous character can lead to the plug and play placing of shops at locations where there is a (temporary) need for a small shop. Van Egmond cites offices, university grounds and residential areas under construction without retail facilities as examples. Furthermore, she sees the fact that the shop can always be open as an advantage. This is useful, for example, for people who are out and about very early or very late.
Automatic payment with computer vision and sensors
The door in the shop opens automatically with your debit or credit card. Then you take the products you need and automatically pay at the exit. The total amount can then be seen on a display to make sure it is correct.
Steve Gu, CEO and Co-Founder of AiFi explains how it works: We develop advanced computer vision and sensor technologies that allow you to shop without having to scan products. Cameras see where you are in the store and which products you pick up. These are then added to your virtual shopping cart. Sensors on the shelves feel like you’re grabbing something or putting something back. The combination of cameras and sensors ensures that it is possible to accurately track which products a customer is taking with him. The cameras determine the position of people in the shop without any facial recognition. They only register silhouettes and (arm) movements.