Future of Retail / The cash register that can tell a croissant from a donut by sight

The cash register that can tell a croissant from a donut by sight

Source: by Emer McCarthy for Thomson Reuters, June 19

 

A bakery situated in Tokyo's busy Ueno district is using image recognition technology at its cash registers that ring up pastries by reading their shape and colour.

Its creators say it should speed up retail transactions. Lined with loaves and croissants, it looks like any other bakery, but a branch of the Andersen chain in Tokyo's bustling Ueno district is using cutting edge technology to earn its crust.

Instead of manually entering treats at a register, workers are using BakeryScan. The machine works by recognising treats by shape and colour, ringing pastry purchases up automatically.

"Checkout at the cash register is much faster so we were able to shorten the time in line. BakeryScan is not only beneficial for us employees. It provides a stress-free shopping experience for our customers," explains Andersen store manager Tetsuya Yamane.

Andersen says the BakeryScan machine has helped this outlet cut its purchase processing time in half, streamlining customer wait times in the process.

"Many bakery shop managers are facing challenges recruiting enough staff to operate their stores and to reduce the number of errors at the cash register. The Japanese economy has been recovering since we began selling BakeryScan. One bakery shop manager told me when the economy gets better, staff at bakeries quit their jobs," said Brain company CEO Hishashi Kambe.

Brain Company is determined to apply image recognition technology even further, by working in conjunction with Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research.

It has also developed a system to identify medicines including loose tablets.

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