The Amazon boogie-man has every retailer scrambling for ways to fight back. But the cost and effort to install cameras all over the ceiling or into every shelf could block stores from entering the autonomous shopping era. Caper wants to make eliminating checkout lines as easy as replacing their shopping carts while offering a more familiar experience for customers.
Soon, Caper wants to go entirely scanless, and sections of its two pilot stores already use the technology. The cameras on the cart employ image recognition matched with a weight sensor to identify what you toss in your cart. You shop just like normal but then pay and leave with no line.
One big advantage over its ceiling and shelf camera competitors is that Caper’s cart can promote deals on nearby or related items. In the future, it plans to add recommendations based on what’s in your cart to help you fill out recipes. “Threw some chips in the cart? Here’s where to find the guacamole that’s on sale.” A smaller hand-held smart basket could broaden Caper’s appeal beyond grocers (think smaller shops), though making it light enough to carry will be a challenge.