StopLift Checkout Vision Systems was demonstrating its new SmartAssist system at NRF Protect, retail’s loss prevention and cyber risk event, held June 11-13 in Anaheim, California. Chris Hayes with StopLift talked with The Shelby Report about SmartAssist, which is a collaboration between StopLift and NCR.
SmartAssist is a real time self-checkout monitoring system that automatically detects if a customer misses a scan, either accidentally or on purpose, Hayes said. It also can distinguish the difference between a store’s item and a woman’s purse on the weight scale.
“Normally that would trigger the attendant to come over. It would stop their transaction and there would be some friction in the buyer experience, but our software automatically distinguishes the difference between a valid item going on there and something that shouldn’t be on there,” Hayes said. “It’s been pretty effective, and we are rolling out to a lot of stores.”
The SmartAssist system is software that works with a camera placed above the self-checkout that looks down on the kiosk. Hayes scanned several items to show that if an item is accidentally missed during the scan, in this case a box of Twinkies, the system will call for assistance when the customer goes to pay.
“It knows that I missed something so now the attendant comes over, punches in their code and they are going to show, OK, that was scanned, now the box of Twinkies, not scanned,” Hayes said. “It’s not on the receipt. So now they can say, ‘OK, well, actually it looks like you missed the Twinkies so let me scan it for you.’ Now the store can get their money before somebody leaves with it. It’s highly important. It’s the wave of the future.”
He said the video analytics and computer vision come from the camera above the self-checkout kiosk.
“It’s looking down and looking at the whole area…,” Hayes said.
The system also helps prevent theft due to ticket switching. Hayes explained this is when you take a cheaper item and use it to cover a larger item as you scan.
“Now the system has been monitoring this,” he said. “Nope, you can’t leave yet and now the attendant is being alerted. They are going to come over and say, ‘Let me take a look.’ Boom, right there, the ticket switching. It jumps right to the part that was missed. So now the attendant sees this and says, ‘OK, it looks like you rang up the Kool-Aid accidentally for the Gatorade Protein. Let me help you and let me scan this and then ring you up so you can finish.’…Instead of the store losing 10 bucks, now they are going to get paid for it before the person leaves.”