Standard Cognition Releases AI-Powered Shopping System

A Palo Alto startup is making its checkout-free shopping system commercially available to any retailer—beating the wide release of Amazon Go’s highly anticipated technology.

Standard Cognition announced today it’s launching its AI-based retail shopping system that lets customers pick up what they need from a store and walk out without scanning items or passing through a checkout.

The startup said the technology can help retailers better track inventory, protect themselves against theft, and lower labour costs by eliminating cashiers—potentially doubling their profit margins.

“We saw the need in the market for a better commerce solution for brick-and-mortar retailers that would leverage the latest AI technology to help them dramatically cut costs, get better analytics, get insight into inventory and shrinkage, and improve the checkout experience for their customers,” said Michael Suswal, cofounder and chief operating officer at Standard Cognition.

The company’s software harnesses machine vision and AI to detect what items are removed off shelves, tracking both goods placed into a cart or returned to a shelf. When a customer walks out of a store, they’ll be automatically charged for what they took while the store will instantly update their inventory.

Standard Cognition said they’re already in “advanced talks” with several US retailers to launch pilots of its checkout-free technology that uses two apps: one for shoppers and one for retailers. Shoppers without the app can still purchase items in store at a self-checkout station or staffed kiosk.

“For 99 percent of retailers who don’t have the resources to deal with lost profit margins from cashier overhead, product theft and shrinkage, they are going to go out of business,” said Suswal. “We want to help retailers both small and large thrive and eliminate the cumbersome, expensive checkout experience as it exists today.”

The company is wrapping up the Y Combinator summer program where it showed off the technology at the incubator’s recent demo day.