The retail self-checkout battle continues to heat up. While Amazon Go usually grabs most of the headlines, other tech developers are lining up to partner with merchants to install autonomous checkout systems in stores. Count Standard Cognition as a serious contender in this market.
Its system can work with a mobile app as does Amazon Go. But Standard’s differentiating feature enables non-mobile app users to enter the store, pick out items, and then self-checkout at a kiosk using cash or plastic. The system’s embedded camera network identifies the customer upon entry and logs which items they purchase. This puts Standard’s system one step ahead in current and future places where cashless transactions are prohibited by law.
A TechCrunch article which is excerpted below discusses more on the topic.
EQT Ventures, Initialized Capital, CRV and Y Combinator have fueled Standard Cognition with another $35 million to help retailers battle Amazon. The deal values the San Francisco-based autonomous checkout startup, founded in 2017, at $535 million.
Standard Cognition implants its AI-powered computer vision platform, which enables the autonomous checkout process, in brick-and-mortar stores. To date, the company has installed its hardware in five stores in the U.S. and Japan, with plans to expand globally using the new investment. Standard Cognition co-founder and chief operating officer Michael Suswal tells TechCrunch the company is counting on support from European VC firm EQT Ventures, which led the deal, to launch its technology in Europe.
Here’s a breakdown of the Standard Cognition autonomous checkout experience: A customer walks into one of Standard Cognition’s partners’ stores and one of 27 overhead cameras (more or less depending on the size of the store) will identify you by shape and movement, not facial recognition. The customer then opens the company’s iOS or Android app and a special light pattern flashes, allowing the cameras to tie you to your account and payment method. Finally, grab whatever items you need and leave the store. No checkout is required for Standard Cognition to bill you. It even works without an app: Shop like normal and then walk up to a kiosk screen, the cameras identify what items you have chosen and you can pay with cash or credit card.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group