World’s First Micromarket Using Hitachi LiDAR And Shekel Product Aware Debuts At NRF 2020 Vision

Posted On: 1/13/2020

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NEW YORK CITY -- Shekel Brainweigh Ltd., a leader in advanced weighing technology, and Hitachi unveiled Capsule, which it describes as the world’s first framework for a cost-effective autonomous micromarket solution based on Hitachi’s LiDAR sensors and Shekel’s Product Aware Shelves at NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show, wrapping up today at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The two companies are showcasing the first fully operational autonomous store in Shekel’s booth #5880 and Hitachi’s booth #5882 throughout the event.

“Micromarkets are the fastest growing segment of convenience shopping. We see them exploding in high-traffic areas, such as workplaces, campuses, train stations and airports,” said Thomas Hylas, sales and marketing manager for Hitachi America Ltd. “Deploying the joint Shekel-Hitachi solution enables retailers and micromarket operators to provide the 24/7 frictionless shopping experience consumers demand without sacrificing accuracy, performance or profitability.”

In a recent consumer survey commissioned by Shekel, nearly 50% of respondents indicated their biggest frustrations with micromarkets and standard vending machines were a limited selection and the lack of fresh products. Additionally, 41% of respondents specified that if they could return items and purchase more than one item at a time, they would be more open to using a micromarket over vending machines.

“For retailers, Capsule is extremely cost-effective, highly accurate, privacy compliant, and future proof,” said Shekel Brainweigh Ltd. general manager for retail innovation Udi Wiesner. “Capsule allows retailers to provide consumers with a wider variety of products including food and beverage choices and the ability to purchase multiple items in the same transaction without ever having to visit a checkout station. These are exactly the features consumers demand in grab-and-go and express shopping environments.

Capsule is a modular, integrated, cost-effective framework for autonomous micromarket that revolutionizes the way shoppers purchase items. It acts as an autonomous shopping solution, a real-time inventory management platform and provides privacy-compliant LiDAR shopper-tracking technology.

To enter, shoppers are identified using a secured payment method and tracked while shopping by Hitachi’s proven LiDAR technology. Consumers can shop for any item in the store, which are registered with Shekel Product Aware shelves and management system that is automatically integrated to any retailer’s POS. They leave the store without checking out through traditional self-checkout machines or via store cashiers. Since all administrative processes are automated, such as calculating and paying for purchases, shoppers experience true frictionless shopping that streamlines their time in store.

Hitachi’s 3D LiDAR technology enables low latency and bandwidth shopper tracking along his or her in-store journey in high resolution regardless of lighting conditions and without compromising privacy. Shekel’s Product Aware technology, based on IoT load sensors, embedded software and cloud-based AI and machine learning, identifies products at the industry’s highest accuracy standards.

The first of its kind joint solution dramatically reduces the retailers’ total cost of ownership by making setup and ongoing operating costs affordable, improves accuracy and enables frictionless shopping for an enhanced customer experience. The first Capsule store is expected to be fully operational in Q1 2020.

“Autonomous micromarkets must demonstrate availability, accuracy of operations, and provide a superior user experience for shoppers,” Wiesner said. “Our joint solution with Hitachi gives retailers flawless identification and tracking of shoppers in an autonomous store area so consumers can collect products from shelves, be automatically charged, and leave the store without ever needing to use a checkout device.”

During NRF, Capsule has been stocked with snacks and drinks in Hitachi’s booth #5882. Attendees can shop through the store, choose the items they want then quickly exit without stopping at a register or self-checkout station. The items in Capsule are free for attendees at the event.

Shekel Ltd. is a well-established technology market leader revolutionizing the retail industry for more than 40 years. The company combined physics, electronics and software expertise to develop digital scale technology. This technology, first implemented into self-checkout systems by its retail partners, gave Shekel the reputation as an innovator for solutions to the global retail market. Following the last years of disruption in the retail market, the company has reinvented itself embracing the newest technologies of IoT and data analytics to enhance and enlarge its offering to the retail market, enabling retailers to adapt to the dramatic changes taking place.

In November 2018, the company launched on the Australian Stock Exchange as Shekel Brainweigh