RTP company using AI-backed tech to help stores fight theft, speed up checkout

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An RTP-based company is developing AI technology to help stop the stealing that leads to losses for stores, and ultimately costs all of us in the form of higher prices.

After multiple instances of widespread retail thefts in the area, a company in Research Triangle Park is working toward a solution.

They’re developing AI technology to help stop the stealing that leads to losses for stores, and ultimately costs all of us in the form of higher prices. The company is hoping to speed up your checkout at the store and slow down shoplifting.

Toshiba Global Commerce works with six of the nation’s largest retailers, including Walgreens and CVS. The company says theft is the top issue they’re hearing from retailers right now.

The rise in retail crime hurts manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Retailers lost $112.1 billion last year due to theft.

Artificial intelligence can identify the products placed on a checkout scanner, while another camera above uses AI to catch potential theft.

Toshiba Global Solutions engineer Don Richards said it can stop a shopper who tries to move an item from their cart to their bag without scanning it.

“They’re going to see a video that shows exactly what they did, and now they know they’ve been seen,” Richards said.

“The artificial intelligence really looks at the behaviors or the items,” said Fredrik Carlegren with Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “It’s not concerned about who you are as an individual. It’s really just looking at the facts and the data.”

The data of retail crime shows it’s on the rise. A new report from the National Retail Federation said retailers lost more than $112 billion because of theft, an increase from the year before’s mark of $94 billion.

Elizabeth Robinson is with the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association. She said more stores are turning to technology as retail criminals become more sophisticated.

“At the end of the day those costs get passed along to the customer,” Robinson said. “It is in every facet of retail – whether that’s the small mom and pop store up to the chain,” Robinson said.

Toshiba is working with some of the nation’s biggest retailers to use AI to reduce their losses from theft.

“You can directly save money by preventing the loss, so it actually has a really strong return on investment,” Carlegren said.

It’s now testing a vision kiosk. Three cameras use AI to total up an entire order in a second.

“You’re not scanning it, you’re just putting it on the smartpad and it identifies what those items are,” Richards said.

You can even pay by facial recognition. Toshiba says AI saves you 5 to 9 seconds per item by not having to manually search for an item code, like with produce.

“We spend a lot of time right here in RTP focusing on innovation and the next generation and the future of retail as we know it,” Carlegren said.

Original Article Source: WRAL