Computer Vision: The Future Of Self-Service | Pan Oston

AI kiosks and check-out solutions are set to become the future of self-service. They take self-service technology to the next level and reduce the need for unnecessary inputs from customers or an over reliance on barcodes and barcode scanning. Instead, customers can simply place the items that they are purchasing on the self-service kiosk tray and a camera will automatically recognize the products using artificially intelligence.

The possibilities created by AI kiosks and AI self-service technology are almost endless with a range of applications across several sectors, including retail. In this article, we explore AI kiosks in further detail including how they work, their feasibility and the key benefits of adopting AI kiosks.

How An AI Kiosk Works

While AI kiosks employ advanced and innovative technology to transform the checkout and ordering process, the way that they work does not significantly change the checkout journey for customers that use existing self-service kiosks.

1. ENTER THE CHECKOUT ZONE & FIND AN AI KIOSK
The first part of the journey in the checkout zone is exactly the same. Each customer will enter the checkout zone and walk towards the AI kiosk that is indicated as being available by a green LED indicator. Once the customer has found a self-service AI kiosk, they will be ready to start the self-checkout process.

2. PLACE ITEMS/PRODUCTS ONTO THE TRAY
At the AI kiosk, the customer can simply place their tray containing the items/products onto the kiosk. The in-built cameras will then automatically recognize up to five products and transfer these products into the on-screen basket ready for checkout. The set of cameras are able to recognize multiple products simultaneously based on stored data.

A customer's shopping and the relevant products are recognized to a high degree of accuracy. However, if the AI kiosk is not able to recognize all the products it will prompt the customer to position each item at a greater distance from the others. Shrinkage is minimized by in-built weight sensors, which are similar to those used by self-scan checkouts. This fraud prevention technology removes the requirement for random shopping checks or employee supervision.

3. VERIFY SHOPPING AND CHECKOUT
Once the shopping has been recognized by the AI kiosk and transferred into the on-screen basket, the customer is asked to verify and confirm that the correct items have been added to the basket. After the shopping has been confirmed, the customer can pay for their shopping using their preferred payment method and complete the checkout process.

Are AI Kiosks Feasible For Self-Service?

The rate at which AI kiosks are adopted will depend on their feasibility for self-service applications. The checkout process is very feasible from a computer vision perspective as it is standardised, and the AI technology is benchmarked based on the human eye. In almost all cases, the AI can recognize what humans can recognize. Product recognition is highly accurate with the accuracy increasing further as more scans are made. The process is well suited to automation as very few applications would require an individual approach. The low variance reduces the complexity of product recognition.

Overall, due to the standardization and minimal variance product recognition by the AI kiosk is possible with a high degree of accuracy. Therefore, AI kiosks and their associated technology are very feasible for self-service applications.

Key Benefits Of Adopting AI Self-Checkout

There are a number of benefits to adopting AI kiosks for a range of self-service and self-ordering applications particularly within the retail and restaurant sectors. Discover the key benefits of adopting AI kiosks in your business.

FASTER PRODUCT SCANNING & RECOGNITION
AI kiosks are able to scan products and recognize them significantly faster using the computer vision system than a human and a traditional scanner in a self-scanning checkout which relies on barcodes. A self-scan checkout and customer will take 2-3 seconds on average to scan one product and 9 seconds to scan three products. Whereas, an AI kiosk can scan up to five products in just 1 second. This significant time saving results in shorter queues and a significantly faster throughput in the checkout zone.

Ultimately, this enhances the customer experience and increases customer satisfaction in your business. It is expected that within 3 years, AI kiosks will be able to half the typical transaction time for an average customer.

INCREASED CHECKOUT CAPACITY
Customers that love using self-service kiosks also hate queuing. Adopting AI kiosks will help you to increase your checkout capacity at peak times so you can serve more customers and have shorter queues. The faster product scanning combined with the autonomous nature of each AI kiosk creates notable time savings, which will boost your checkout capacity.

INCREASED CHECKOUT CAPACITY
The AI kiosks and its autonomous operation creates further opportunities to automate tasks in the checkout zone that are best performed by a computer rather than a person. Customers will not be required to scan their shopping and employees that would be supporting customers and resolving scanning related issues are freed up to help customers in other areas. This results in enhanced customer service as employees are more available to customers that need their help the most.

FACILITIES CONTACTLESS CHECKOUT FOR CUSTOMERS
Adopting AI kiosks is also able to facilitate contactless checkout for customers. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, some customers continue to prefer contactless service options. AI kiosks make the contactless checkout process possible as every aspect of the checkout process right from scanning the products to paying for the shopping and completing the checkout process requires no contact.

Meet the SLIM Balance, AI-assisted self-checkout

Pan Oston strives to be at the cutting edge of self-service kiosk technology. We have developed the SLIM Express and SLIM Balance, our first AI kiosks. The SLIM Express and SLIM Balance has been developed by Pan Oston in partnership with Snabble, BACK-FACTORY and Walkout Technologies.

The SLIM Express and SLIM Balance use an in-built camera and fruit scale to provide innovative weighing and product detection of fruit and vegetables. This significantly simplifies the process of buying fruit and vegetables in a supermarket setting, which has traditionally involved weighing fruit and vegetables in the aisle and printing barcodes that can be scanned at a Self-Checkout.

Our new AI kiosks simplify this process for the customer. They can simply place their fruit and vegetables on the scale, the scale will then record the weight. While the products are being weighed, the camera combined with AI powered machine vision will detect which fruit and vegetables have been purchased and transfer these onto the on-screen basket ready for checkout. The customer can then confirm the items and pay for their shopping to complete the checkout process.

Pan Oston's SLIM family has an exciting new line-up of AI kiosks that are well suited to a range of self-service and self-checkout applications. The SLIM Balance Small and SLIM Balance Large each cater to the requirements of a range of retailers from large supermarkets through to smaller food and non-food retailers.


Ready To Explore The Possibilities Offered By AI Kiosks?

Our AI kiosk specialists are ready to help your business explore the possibilities that AI kiosks can bring and develop the best possible solution for your business. The SLIM Express and SLIM Balance self-service kiosks can transform your business and its checkout zone by placing the power of AI technology into the reach of your customers. Whether you are a large supermarket chain or a medium sized food retailer, AI kiosks would bring a significant number of benefits to your business.

Our client base includes M&S, SPAR and COOP. Pan Oston's team of over 165 specialists with over 50 years of experience have in-house design, manufacturing and project management capabilities and are ready to help you successfully adopt AI kiosks in your business. We are an award-winning company that has won the prestigious Red Dot Design award and are ISO 9001 accredited for quality management.

Why not find out how we can help your business successfully adopt AI kiosks? Contact our UK sales team to discuss your requirements with no obligation to proceed. We are ready to help your business realize the possibilities offered by innovative AI kiosks.
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