Self-Checkout Faces Frequent Theft, AI Innovation Steps In

Recently, the retail chain Target announced the launch of a fast self-checkout lane in nearly 2,000 stores nationwide. This lane will be open only to customers purchasing 10 items or fewer.

According to Target executives, this strategy is partly a response to the ongoing issue of in-store theft across their nationwide locations. A survey by online lending marketplace LendingTree revealed that 15% of self-checkout users admitted to theft, with 44% indicating they might steal again. This data undoubtedly serves as a wake-up call for retailers.

Despite the challenge of high theft rates among self-checkout users, retailers are not backing down but are instead actively seeking solutions. With the rapid advancement of AI technology, intelligent cameras and AI loss prevention systems have emerged as valuable tools for the retail industry. By installing smart cameras above self-checkout machines and integrating advanced visual recognition algorithms, these systems can monitor customers' checkout processes in real-time, alerting for suspicious behaviors such as unscanned items or obstructed scans.

Notably, the large supermarket chain Woolworths has successfully implemented AI camera technology in several stores in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. These AI cameras, positioned above customers, can accurately detect whether items have been correctly scanned, helping to reduce inventory loss.

Earlier, Amazon introduced its "Just Walk Out" technology in Amazon Go stores, which also caused a sensation. Customers scan the Amazon app at the entrance to the store, then simply take the items they want and leave. The product tracking system automatically completes the checkout process for them.

Innovative devices like automated checkout baskets and smart shopping carts are also being promoted. For instance, Panasonic's Regi-Robo smart shopping basket uses RFID technology to enable fast and accurate item checkout. Customers simply place items into the basket, and at the checkout counter, they can easily complete payment and take away their pre-packaged goods.

Additionally, the Caper smart shopping cart has garnered attention. This shopping cart utilizes advanced machine vision systems, with cameras that continuously scan items as they are placed into or removed from the cart, ensuring precise product recognition. Customers do not need to worry about forgetting to scan items or scanning them twice; they just remove items they no longer want from the cart, and the system automatically deducts the items and displays the updated list on the cart's built-in screen.