UK grocery giant Tesco has opened a frictionless store in central London using computer vision technology supplied by Israeli artificial intelligence startup Trigo, the British food retailer announced in October. Shoppers will be required to use the automated system to make purchases at the approximately 2,400-square-foot (223 square meter) store in the city's High Holborn area, which is Tesco's first public location equipped with the equipment. Like Amazon Go stores, shoppers will be able to enter the store after having logged in with the app, shop at leisure putting items they would like to buy directly into their bags and then simply walk out. A series of AI-powered cameras and other sensors in the store monitor which items customers pick up and ultimatley take with them, calculates the total cost and then sends the customer a digital bill after leaving the store. Trigo’s GDPR compliant AI-solution is built with a privacy-by-design architecture which anonymizes a shopper’s movement and product choice data. No biometric or facial recognition data are gathered or analyzed. Even though Amazon beat Tesco to launching the first frictionless store in the UK earlier this year, Tesco has been looking at this technology for sometime, having worked with Trigo for a number of years and indeed having taken an undisclosed stake in the company two years ago. One area where they can claim to be first though is that this was an existing store which was converted to being a frictionless store whereas all of the Amazon Go stores have been new built from scratch stores. This is an important area of differentiation given the number of stores already in prime locations around the world which could theoretically become frictionless without the need for significant construction costs.
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