In a hurry but still hoping to grab a snack before you jump on your flight? If you’re at JFK in New York City, you might be in luck, at least if you’re passing Gate B 42. Because that’s where the airport just teamed up with Zippin, a maker of AI-powered cashierless checkout technology, and SSP America, an airport foodservice operator, to launch a new grab-and-go convenience concept called Camden Food Express.
According to the release sent to The Spoon, here’s how it works: Customers enter the store through a turnstile tapping their credit card as they enter and begin shopping by picking items off shelves. As they do, Zippin’s AI system automatically identifies the items and builds the customer’s virtual cart with the corresponding monetary value. When the customer leaves the store, the total amount spent is automatically charged to the card the customer used to check-in at the store entrance.
For Zippin, its partnership with JFK and SSP is a nice feather in the cap for a company with a portfolio of deployments, including hotels, stadiums, and grocery stores. Zippin’s move into airports follows other cashierless tech platforms like Amazon’s Just Walk Out, which showed up in Dallas airport earlier this year.
The embrace of cashierless tech is part of a broader exploration by airports of food tech. In recent years we’ve seen airports roll out delivery robots, pizza robots, and coffee robots, to name a few, as well as next-generation vending machines. For JFK, the rollout of Camden Food Express follows the October launch of a multi-brand automated retail center created in partnership with Hudson.