Prominent Japanese electronics producer Panasonic and convenience store mega-chain FamilyMart have launched a new store here as a joint demonstration project between them.
This experimental project utilises IoT technology and various data to achieve enhanced operational efficiency for customers.
With the latest facial recognition and image analysis technology developed by Panasonic, customers can register their photo and credit card information and then check out using the unmanned register.
When desired items are put in the centre of check out corner, the price is automatically calculated and the money is withdrawn from the user's pre-registered credit card.
The store is thoroughly equipped with camera and sensor to digitize information in the store. Camera and infrared radiation sensors are installed in the general shopping area to detect customer movement and the number of products on the shelf.
Dwell time heat maps are also generated from camera and sensor combined with Smartphone survey and conventional POS data to lead to actionable data.
Labour-saving technology has been deployed including automated mobile staff notification system for products which are out of stock.
The information from the camera is displayed on screens held by a staff member, which include alerts when specific goods run out.
Employees use a wearable device which keeps them updated with stock information on each shelf.
For many products, conventional paper-printed signage and price tag were replaced with digital one for greater work efficiency.
Translating devices have also been also introduced. The device instantly provides both audio and written translation of target language over the counter to cater to the inbound tourist.
Now-a-days, filling staff shortage in stores is one of the most important tasks for many chains.
"The process of finishing these solutions that work efficiently in the actual scene of the store operation is important but we couldn't complete by ourselves. So we are very fortunate to have such opportunity with the best partner at the best location right next to our company where many of our engineers work," said Yasuyuki Higuchi from Connected Solutions Company - Panasonic.
Through the operation of this next-generation store, Panasonic aims to solve the problem of shortage of labour which is currently affecting the retail store industry in Japan.