SuperSmart is a chimera in the cashierless checkout world. It combines a number of technologies other cashierless checkout companies use: mobile phone barcode scanning, computer vision for product recognition, weight sensors for increased accuracy. But SuperSmart could easily find traction with retailers because of one product twist that is, well, super smart.
But first, let’s back up. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, SuperSmart is among a wave of cashierless checkout startups coming to market. While shopping at a SuperSmart-powered store, customers use a special branded mobile app SuperSmart creates for that retailer (or a handheld scanner). As customers shop, they scan the barcode of items they place inside the shopping cart. Once they are done, customers go to a special SuperSmart checkout tower to pay using the app or whatever method the store wants to accept.
The checkout tower has a camera mounted above that uses computer vision to analyze everything inside the cart. The camera compares what it “sees” with what the shopper scanned. But here comes the twist! In addition to the camera above, there is also scale below the cart. The scale weighs the full cart to ensure that the weights of everything inside matches what was scanned.
As a result, SuperSmart enables a double-verification of the shopper’s barcode scanning to prevent loss and theft. The mobile app maintains a tally of everything scanned, the camera validates that with computer vision and the scale adds another layer of authentication by ensuring that the weights match up. If there is a disconnect in that loop, a human store attendant can help make sure all of the items were scanned.
As noted, SuperSmart’s approach combines aspects of a number of different cashierless checkout startups. It uses mobile phones like Nomitri, computer vision like Grabango, and weight sensors like Zippin and Amazon Go. But unlike Nomitri and Grabango, SuperSmart adds the weight sensor. And Zippin and Amazon Go augment computer vision with weight sensors, but those sensors are on store shelves, requiring more installation for the retailer. SuperSmart has consolidated any additional technology installation required to the checkout station.
In addition to cashierless checkout, SuperSmart’s app can also generate upselling opportunities. For instance, if you buy a toothbrush, the app can alert you to a sale on toothpaste.
SuperSmart was founded in 2014 and raised $10 million in funding last month in a round led by German food processing and equipment company Bizerba. SuperSmart’s technology is being piloted right now by the German retail chain, Metro, and Osher Ad supermarkets in Israel.