Amazon Go Expands and Other Retailers Want In

The Lempert Report
April 10, 2018

AiFi is one such company.

At ShopTalk I visited computer vision tech company AiFi who is now offering the AI technology, sensor and camera networks to all retailers regardless of size. Its their opportunity to get in on the latest technology that allows shoppers, as Amazon says, to “shop and go” without stopping at the cashier. 

Targeting what AiFi calls the "trillion dollar opportunity" for all retail stores to upgrade and innovate and capturing offline data and behavioral trends, the technology incorporates AiFi’s proprietary computer vision algorithms with computing at the edge using low-power mobile devices to run multi-person behavior tracking and product recognition in real time. 

"Consumers and businesses alike want to be efficient and with a checkout-free store, consumers have an incredible shopping experience. Because our technology is massively scalable, tens of thousands of stores worldwide can become a ‘grab and go’ type of retailer," said Steve Gu, CEO, AiFi. "The shopping experience now demonstrated and widely promoted by Amazon is just the tiniest taste of what the AiFi technology will do for retailers -- with shops that range from tiny to huge. Our pilot will roll out in one very large store, orders of magnitude bigger than the Amazon Go store, at the end of this year, with many more large stores to follow so thousands of consumers will experience the delight of no longer standing in long and tedious checkout lines." 

Sure the tech is cool and perhaps can be fool proof, but the most interesting thing to me is how this type of tech can offer retailers (and brands?) a comprehensive understanding of shopping behaviors and gestures (even identifying abnormal gestures according to AiFi), and identifies people who are shopping together as a group. A daunting task – but if achievable would be the most valuable information a retailer could get. One question I have, is if this tiny company, it’s raised just $4 million in seed funding has the where with all to make it a reality.