Recently the NHK News On-line reported the following:
To support of the retail industry that was troubled with labor shortage, an exhibition was held to introduce the latest technology to make a store that needed no register, and various enterprises had proposed the near-future way of the shopping.
Approximately 210 companies were participating at the exhibition which was started in Tokyo-to from the 6th.
What "NEC" exhibited was a technology that could made real a store without the need for a register. A camera in the store that functioned as facial authentication could recognize a visitor who took goods in his hand and went out of the store, payment could be settled just as that. The special feature was that you could shop even if you did not have a purse and smart phone.
About the technology of "Oki Electric Industry", it used a camera in the store to analyze the gender and age of each individual in addition to the number of visitors. The system used the AI= artificial intelligence to predict the crowded condition of the register. When AI predicted that "the register would be crowded 30 minutes later", then it would accordingly increase the number of cashiers to operate, and it was said that they could reduce the waiting time of customers.
The technology of "Fujitsu" used a camera to catch what goods and for how long a customer was looking at, and then the AI analyzed his interest in the goods. A shop assistant would speak to this interested customer at an appropriate timing to say that he could explain the goods.
Mr. Takuya Uemura the development in-charge of Fujitsu research center said that “while linked to comfortable customer service, the burden on the store side over labor shortage can also be reduced. To make a store that visitors feel like coming again can be achieved."
The exhibition was held at Tokyo Big Sighton until the 9th this month.
I think the new technology could help improve the shopping experience of customers.