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Facial recognition powers new Lenovo unstaffed convenience store

Facial recognition powers new Lenovo unstaffed convenience store

Lenovo has opened an unstaffed convenience store which uses facial recognition to automatically charge customer accounts for the items they select from shelves at the company’s new Beijing campus.

The Lenovo Lecoo Unmanned Store includes a tablet at the entrance which confirms the biometric identity match, and Lenovo says the experience has led it to consider specialized tablets with cameras particularly suited to facial recognition for the task.

“You can learn a lot by reading about technology, however you learn even more when applying it to specific challenges—even in a cutting-edge retail space,” says Lenovo Vice President of Research and Technology Daryl Cromer. “We can now understand some of the technologies and challenges our customers face, allowing us to make better devices and tailored solutions. The store becomes a powerful pilot program for technologies that move beyond the Lenovo campus.”

Building the retail store of the future requires seamlessly integrating IoT, augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into a unified ecosystem appealing to customers, the company says.

“When people think of a retail experience they think of a PC, keyboard, a barcode reader, and a cash drawer,” continues Cromer. “Going forward this will be defined by mobile payment, by empowering the user to their own selection, fast payout, etc. That would imply our tablets, PCs, and phones would evolve to better fit this ecosystem, and over time the options for each will become more optimized to fit these scenarios.”

Lenovo plans to add online delivery to the store, along with personalized touches, such as a cappuccino machine which automatically recognizes users and their beverage preferences and brews their preferred choice.

Sam’s Club recently announced it will deploy facial recognition to a new mobile-first retail location in Dallas, as tests of biometrics in the retail space continue to expand.

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