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Ahold Delhaize division Retail Business Services said yesterday that it has developed "new frictionless store technology, piloted under the name lunchbox, which enables individuals to shop a small format store in seconds by scanning in, shopping and walking out," similar to Amazon Go technology.

However, the company says, "compared to other frictionless store concepts, lunchbox is efficient. The solution carries a lean cost and can be implemented in a matter of weeks."

Here's how it works: "The application technology for lunchbox, created in Retail Business Services’ innovation lab and tech hub, is powered by a Retail Business Services’ proprietary app, which admits shoppers to the store and charges shoppers for purchases. For ease of payment, services such as PayPal, Venmo, Apply Pay and Google Pay are integrated into the wallet. Inside the store, AI running on Intel Core i5 and i7 processors-based systems optimized with the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit detects which products are being removed from shelves in the store and anonymous body skeletal tracking connects the right products to the right shopper. The Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit enabled lunchbox to use existing Intel-based point-of-sale systems and deploy on-premise AI at maximum performance."

Here's where it works: "The technology is currently being tested in Retail Business Services’ Quincy, Mass. office."

The lunchbox technology reportedly will be on display at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show in January in New York City.
KC's View:
Good for them. I continue to believe, as often stated here, that checkout-free technologies will end up being as important to the retail business as scanning. That said, there will be lots of approaches to it, and I look forward to seeing how this works.