According to The Asahi Shimbun, shoppers are saved the bother of all but picking items off the shelves at a Lawson Inc. convenience store in Japan, where the latest version of automated cash registers is on trial.
Panasonic Corp. and Lawson started a test run of the new Regirobo system at the store last week, and let reporters see it in operation on Feb. 14.
Regirobo dispenses of the need for a convenience store clerk to run a cash register or bag the purchased goods, and it even scans items for the customer.
The original Regirobo required customers to scan each item to a bar code reader attached to a shopping basket before placing it inside.
Now, an electronic tag attached to each piece of merchandise carries price information, which can be automatically scanned from inside the special shopping basket.
The project aims to reduce convenience store clerks’ workloads, as cash register operation accounts for 25 percent of their working hours.
An electronic tag built-in seal, measuring 2.5 centimeters by 4.5 cm, is attached to 3,500 kinds of products in the store, with some exceptions such as rice balls and magazines.
After placing seal-attached products into a special basket, customers place it onto the designated spot, where the tags are automatically scanned and the bill is displayed. All shoppers need to do is to pay by credit card and leave.
Panasonic and Lawson unveiled the first version of Regirobo, which also automatically calculates the bill, in December.
The latest Regirobo is expected to be introduced in several Lawson outlets by the end of fiscal 2018.
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