Pizza Delivery Robots Rolling Out (and more)

Pizza Delivery Robots

Pizza Delivery From Starship reported by Mashable — Starship Technologies is sending robots to college campuses, delivering everything from Starbucks to Panda Express.

pizza delivery robot

pizza delivery robot

Link to Video


Robot Food Delivery at Universities with Sodexo

From Progressive Grocer August 2021 —

In yet another example of how robot food delivery is gaining traction in the United States, Kiwibot, a robotic last-mile delivery company, has teamed with foodservice and facilities management company Sodexo North America to begin offering the service at three university campuses this month: New Mexico State University; Loyola Marymount University, in California; and Gonzaga University, in Washington state.

The companies envision a subscription program in which every person at a Sodexo-serviced location can access any goods that can fit into a robot, and are located within a university campus.

Kiwibot delive

kiwibot food delivery robot

Grocery Store Chain Now Accepting Paypal and Venmo – First one

Digital Payments at Giant Eagle Now Accepted from Paypal and Venmo

digital payment paypal venmo

digital payment paypal venmo

From Progressive Grocer August 2021

In Brief

  • According to Blackhawk
    • 59% surveyed using digital wallet
    • Of all tools, 48% using QR codes
  • Giant Eagle lets them pay with mobile app
  • Digital payments are driving loyalty rates up
  • 63% more likely to shop where digital payment provided
  • 73% want to pay in-store same way they pay online
  • Paypal is #1 tool
  • Giant Eagle sales 10B with 470 stores

Excerpt

Cash is no longer king. With digital payments becoming more ingrained in our day-to-day lifestyle, Giant Eagle, Inc. and global branded payments company Blackhawk Network have partnered with PayPal and Venmo to bring these payment methods to each of the retailer’s 474 supermarket and GetGo locations. With this announcement, Giant Eagle and GetGo become the first grocery and convenience store chains in the United States allowing customers to pay with PayPal and Venmo at the register.

Amazon Imposes Surcharge On VISA Payments

Amazon VISA Surcharge News

From PaymentDive August 2021 — Amazon takes on Visa by imposing a surcharge in area and leaving open the possibility of extending it elsewhere to fight what it calls “Visa’s high cost of payments.”

In Brief:

  • Singapore Amazon customers are the first to see 0.5% surcharge on VISA payment use
  • From Amazon — To avoid this surcharge, we encourage you to use a debit or non-Visa credit card as the default payment method in your account,” said the notice.
  • No comment from VISA
  • Colorado passed law allowing merchants to assess surcharge covering VISA charges — Specifically it eliminates ban on surcharges
  • Data shows the costs for collection of fees has gone down while the fees have gone up, thus becoming a burden
  • In related news — AMC Theaters now accepts Bitcoin

Excerpt:
amazon logo image
Retail giant Amazon is taking on card behemoth Visa with plans to impose a half percent surcharge on all Visa credit card transactions in Singapore starting next month in its first ever such surcharge.

“Due to Visa’s high cost of payments, beginning 15 September 2021, Amazon will apply 0.5% surcharge to purchases made using Visa credit cards on Amazon.sg,” the company said in a notice today to its Singapore site customers. “To avoid this surcharge, we encourage you to use a debit or non-Visa credit card as the default payment method in your account,” said the notice, which was provided by Amazon.

Asked if the surcharge could be extended to other parts of the world, a spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment, but suggested the Seattle-based company might consider adding the surcharge elsewhere. “Singapore is the first country we’ve decided to make changes in, but this is a global issue and is not isolated to Singapore,” the spokesperson said by email.
Read full article at PaymentDive

Smart Lockers Benefits and Features Writeup

smart locker system

smart locker system

Frank Mayer is pretty good at laying out the sellable and positive factors of a product and here is their latest blog entry on Smart Lockers.  Its more not why others are using but why you should be using. We’ve seen iterations from Panasonic lockers deployed.  Here is some additional information on Panasonic ClearConnect.  Also Panasonic Food Lockers Reimagined IFBTA June 2021

In Brief this article

  • Growth and visibility factor has definitely increased in last 12 months
  • What is a locker system
  • Benefits include: its contactless, safe storage (think Best Lockers at swimming parks)
  • Advantages: point made here is scarcity of employees can be offset by lockers
  • These units are married up with software from GRUBBRR.
  • Real deployments — none that we can see
  • Images – renderings

 


 

With recent data showing significant growth in click and collect sales over the past year, it’s no surprise that innovative technology like smart locker systems has gained momentum as a convenient solution for both customers and businesses alike.

Not only are quick service restaurants rolling out food lockers at their locations, but Amazon has been offering customers a secure place for packages to be delivered for years now with its Amazon Hub Locker program.

With companies focused on nurturing the customer experience as well as mitigating labor and cost challenges, smart locker systems will be a solution to a growing number of business strategies.

What is a Smart Locker System?

Smart lockers are an electronic storage and distribution solution with built-in technology that automates the purchase, notification, and retrieval process. While popular in the QSR space, they also provide benefits to other industries, including retail, hospitality, cannabis, education, and more.

Using an electronic locker system is simple.

In most use cases, customers place an order through a register, mobile device, or kiosk, and the order is immediately communicated with a business’s back-end system. Once complete, the order is assigned a locker, and through text or email, the locker’s software application alerts the customer it’s ready. A unique PIN or QR code allows the patron to then open the corresponding locker door and retrieve the order.

Watch a short video detailing the process in a QSR setting.

Key Benefits of Smart Locker Solutions for Customers

While self-service’s adoption rate before 2020 was already steadily growing, the pandemic only sped up its acceptance as customers sought out contactless shopping experiences for safety.

Smart lockers offer shoppers and patrons the convenience synonymous with self-service.  Without relying on an employee, customers can place an order, skip the line, and simply pick up their items when notified. This seamless process not only minimizes face-to-face interaction but reduces the chance of a stolen order or mix-up.

In addition, lockers are favorable for programs like equipment rental, package delivery, grocery pickup, and more.

Further, lockers can also provide a safe storage solution, which makes them beneficial for places like theme parks or malls where people want to store valuables in a secure location.

Advantages of Smart Locker Systems for Businesses

While customers can benefit from their convenience and safety, businesses also profit from contactless lockers included in their operations plans.

As quick-service restaurants and retailers struggle to fill labor gaps, smart lockers provide a solution to save on costs and reassign current employees to other important tasks.

“With businesses struggling to hire employees to fill entry-level jobs today, locker systems paired with mobile and self-service kiosk options can substitute for many responsibilities once covered by staff,” says Dave Loyda, Strategic Business Development Manager at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. “They reduce labor overhead and redeploy employees to higher-level duties.”

Additionally, lockers also offer patrons an efficient transaction process that removes customer experience destroyers like long lines, increased wait times, and order inaccuracies.

Adding Lockers to Your Business Strategy

Smart locker systems have created a lot of buzz, with self-service solutions topping businesses’ to-do lists as a result of encouraging customer response toward new technology as well as heightened safety concerns during the pandemic.

With locker systems helping restaurants and retailers focus on customer satisfaction and addressing operational challenges, now might be the right time to learn how a locker system could advance your business, too.

For more information about Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.’s turn-key smart locker solution and the customizable GRUBBRR software behind it, visit our smart locker page.

Palm Print Biometric News from Amazon – Check-out Free and get $10

Amazon Palm Payment

Amazon palm pay

Amazon palm pay

From Tech Crunch Aug 2021 – Zack Whittaker

In Brief

  • Actually pretty good idea to use palm biometrics. Other methods intersect with too many others, most of which are in sensitive sectors (fingerprint in corrections for example or IRIS in DHS)

Excerpt

How much is your palm print worth? If you ask Amazon, it’s about $10 in promotional credit if you enroll your palm prints in its checkout-free stores and link it to your Amazon account.

Last year, Amazon introduced its new biometric palm print scanners, Amazon One, so customers can pay for goods in some stores by waving their palm prints over one of these scanners. By February, the company expanded its palm scanners to other Amazon grocery, book and 4-star stores across Seattle.

AI-Powered Skincare Kiosk in Retail

Skincare Kiosk AI in Retail

skincare kiosk AI

skincare kiosk AI

From Trendhunter July 2021

Editors Note:  First time we have seen skin care kiosk, and with AI. Actually makes a lot of sense especially with the quality of cameras these days.  These could work in telemedicine quite easily. Put one in every Ulta salon or Sephora for that matter as a public service (and increased sales). They were supposed to come to Sephora as handheld devices but the pandemic likely shunted that off for now.

Excerpt:

LUMINI, an AI-based skin analysis solution developed by lululab, is taking skincare kiosks to the next level via the Korean government’s AI voucher support project. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the kiosk is capable of scanning, diagnosing and making recommendations based on the needs of an individual.

The convenient, hygienic and personalized experience leverages big data and K-beauty to match people to the best solutions for their skin. The process of collecting data about the skin only takes about 10 seconds and it looks at several factors, including pores, wrinkles, sebum, melasma, redness, acne, and oil and moisture balance, with a high degree of accuracy. The kiosk even boasts distance adjusting technology for facial recognition and features that recognize the presence of external lighting or makeup.

More Info

What’s the Lululab Lumini AI Skincare Assistant?

Lululab originally began as an internal project at Samsung but spun-off from the conglomerate in 2017 to become its own brand. Its flagship device is the Lumini, which is described as:

…the first in the beauty industry to use the artificial intelligence technology to digitize the skin. With one photo shoot, it analyzes your skin accurately within 10 seconds and recommends the best product.

Lululab has been celebrated for this advancement in skincare tech, garnering accolades and awards at CosmoprofViva Technology, and even CES 2019.

Reviews

User Experience

 

Robotic Chef Makes Spaghetti

Robotic Kitchen with Robotic Chef

robotic chef robotic kitchen

robotic chef in robotic kitchen

We thought this was a robotic chef cool video and a cool company (in UK).  At first you might wonder why they would design a robot and kitchen using articulated human hands when other forms might be more effective.

It’s instrumental in cloning or copying the exact hand and finger movements of a real person aka chef.

In Brief

  • Makes pasta in less than an hour
  • Cleans up after itself
  • Washes dishes
  • 20 Motors and 129 sensors
  • Custom kitchen all one piece
  • Moley Robotics

The Moley Mission

Moley Robotics aims to improve our quality of life and health by combining innovative technology and nutrition in every home and commercial institution.

Our goal is to help people enjoy homemade freshly-cooked food easily, by providing a solution that cooks for you when you’re busy. The Moley kitchen allows you to take control of your diet, limit the barriers to healthy eating, and enjoy gourmet freshly cooked food every day.

We aim to connect chefs and consumers/people, giving them access to the library of a library of globally inspired, regularly updated recipes.

Our mission is to make cooking more ecological by optimizing the use of time and technology and minimizing waste and CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, we seek to create a safer culinary environment and reduce the risk of food contamination by facilitating limited contact during food preparation and the integrated disinfection of work surfaces prevents accidents. This has become even more important during the pandemic.

Our ultimate goal is to design a robotic kitchen that can be delivered to the mass market at an affordable price.

We accelerate the development of the robotics industry, bringing the future closer together with our customers, upgrading the production together with our partners, and, ultimately, making robotic assistants available and affordable to everyone.

Moley News

    • UKTN about us: “One of the Coolest Robotics Startups Shaping the Future of UK Tech in 2021”
      Mar 25, 2021
      UKTN about us: “One of the Coolest Robotics Startups Shaping the Future of UK Tech in 2021”
      The majority view for the robotics industry is that its impact will be positive, large, and widely spread across sectors, with uneven rates of uptake. Today, we take a look at some of the most revolutionary robot tech startups shaping the future of robotics engineering in the UK.
    • Robotic kitchen for restaurants. KTCHN Rebel about us: “The Future Is Now: How Robots Will Change Kitchens”
      Mar 23, 2021
      Robotic kitchen for restaurants. KTCHN Rebel about us: “The Future Is Now: How Robots Will Change Kitchens”
      Moley Robotic kitchen is currently for high-end residential usage. Meanwhile, the founder and CEO of Moley Robotics, Mark Oleynik, ever the visionary and future gazer, is planning its next phase and deployment into commercial kitchens.
    • TEMPUS about us: “Moley Robotics Is Taking the Culinary Arts Into the Space Age.”
      Feb 22, 2021
      TEMPUS about us: “Moley Robotics Is Taking the Culinary Arts Into the Space Age.”
      Mechanical hands hover over the refined preparation station, whipping up a gourmet-style pasta dish. Perfect al dente spaghetti bubbles away on the stove while the dexterous limbs whisk a home-made sauce with expert precision. Watching Moley Robotic kitchen in action…
    • Moley Robotic Kitchen. Media kit.
      Feb 15, 2021
      Moley Robotic Kitchen. Media kit.
      Reflecting the combination of ultimate form and precise function that defines Moley Robotic Kitchen, we have gathered the highlights of this cutting-edge product in the multilingual releases below.

Panasonic Smart Lockers – Off Premise Food Lockers For Smart Pickup – ClearConnect

From Panasonic Jul 2021

ClearConnect Off-Premise Dining Solution

food lockers

Click to Expand – food lockers

Empower your customers through a dedicated take-out solution for the fast-growing off-premise dining segment. Food Locker technology from Panasonic provides guests with an easy and secure option to pick up orders at peak freshness, all in a dedicated space.

Integrated pick-up

Install in a restaurant or communal space and create a dedicated area for take-out orders. In a fast-casual setting, a Panasonic food locker bank can elimiate any bottleneck in dine-in or counter service operations. In a communal setting, with a bank of Panasonic food lockers, the delivery is housed in the hardware, increasing the building’s safety.

No more order confusion

No more upset phone calls from customers who grabbed the wrong brown bag off of the bookcase because they couldn’t read the receipt stapled to it. Panasonic Food Lockers can only be opened by the customer with the corresponding order code. Simply scan the code and your locker will open. Once you take your food and close the door, the process is complete.

Platform agnostic

We can get started as a standalone addition in your restaurant without any integration or let Panasonic Food Locker hardware integrate with your native ordering system, as well as popular app-based delivery platforms.

Expand sales, not your footprint

A compact design allows you to elevate your take-out and delivery volume without taking from the space needed for the rest of your operation. Our team will work with you to determine how many lockers best suit a particular space.


Smart Locker Resources

Learn about how Panasonic Smart Food Lockers enable contactless carry-out in 3 easy steps.

Download Now. Panasonic Smart Food Lockers

Hear from Jeffrey Kalt, CEO, CaliBurger; Agnes Sowa, Senior Program Manager, Panasonic and Tim Page, Sales Executive, Panasonic about new self-service restaurant innovations, like Smart Lockers for Food Service, in the time of the Coronavirus.

View Webinar. IFBTA & Panasonic Webinar: Self-Service Restaurant Innovations in the Time of Coronavirus

On the latest episode of The Big REthink, Agnes Sowa, Senior Program Manager at Panasonic Digital Solutions Center, joins host Barry Ross to discuss how some restaurants have adapted despite massive changes to how they do business.

Listen Now. How Restaurants Are Meeting the Challenges of a Market Transformed

Learn how you can empower your customers with a dedicated solution for the fast growing off premise dining segment with pick up technology to complement their ordering experience.

Learn More. Smart Locker Advantages

 

Whitepaper on Locker Solutions

Panasonic Food Lockers Reimagined IFBTA June 2021

Airport Facial Recognition for Biometric Check-In

Airline Biometric Check-In aka Facial Check-In

From Collins Aerospace July 2021

  • New system streamlines passenger processing
  • Facial recognition reduces physical interactions and enhances passenger convenience
Biometric Check-In

Click for full size — Biometric Check-In

Tokyo, Japan (Jul 19, 2021) – Collins Aerospace has completed deployment of its ARINC SelfPassTM biometrics solution at Haneda Airport, one of the busiest airports in Asia, streamlining passenger processing through reduced physical interactions and bottlenecks at multiple passenger touchpoints. Collins Aerospace is a Raytheon Technologies business.

“Our ‘Face Express’ system will allow passengers to efficiently proceed through procedures at the airport (baggage drop, security checkpoint entrance, boarding gate) utilizing facial recognition, eliminating the hassle of showing their passport and boarding pass,” said Shoichi Ohashi, Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation’s senior manager for the Facility Department. “We worked closely with Collins Aerospace to achieve this and enhance passenger convenience at Tokyo Haneda airport.”

Rakan Khaled, vice president, Airport Systems for Collins said, “Our ARINC SelfPass biometrics solution at Tokyo Haneda Airport streamlines passenger processing while improving airport efficiency and security. Despite the challenging pandemic environment, we were able to manage staffing and suppliers to ensure smooth delivery of the solution.”

This project includes the installation of 98 Self-Service Check-In Kiosks, 30 biometric enrollment kiosks, 104 biometric devices for Self-Bag Drop, 17 biometric Automated Security Gates and 42 biometric Automated Self-Boarding Gates.

About Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp. (NYSE: RTX), is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Collins Aerospace has the extensive capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and broad expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. For more information, visit CollinsAerospace.com.

Facial Recognition and Retail — Going to the Next Level

From Axios July 2021

Facial recognition surges in retail stores

Bit of a fluff piece with the catchy title . Once again the actual content betrayed the calculated title.  It has turned into a shell game predicting which titles from which publications will provide the corresponding content.  I had hopes for Axios but it was muddled results at best.

In Brief

  • Pandemic drove new use cases (fraud, analytics)
  • Fight For the Future  leading fight against
  • Kroger, Home Depot/etc all say they won’t
  • Alibaba Supermarket of future (Wired)
  • Article is mostly title/lead but it globs together a fairly wide group of datapoints
  • Missed McDonalds Drive-Thru (or they are sponsor)
  • HIKVision and Dahua could have been raised as issue.  Many of the large companies buy from resellers which actually sell what the companies say they won’t be using. They simply state ignorance after the fact and elude any consequences. State and Federal do a lot of that right now. We thought we were doing the right thing but they didn’t tell us what we were doing!
  • The article actually calls out the increased use by Federal but neglects state
  • Pretty cheap looking marquee image
  • We saw nice article ARINC deploying facial recog in Japan – technically Collins Aerospace
  • Not much new here
facial recognition in retail

facial recognition in retail

Excerpt:

Face-recognition tech is coming to a store near you, if it’s not there already, and that’s sparking a new wave of opposition.

Why it matters: The systems can scan or store facial images of both shoppers and workers. Their use accelerated during the pandemic as retailers looked for ways to prevent fraud, track foot traffic with fewer employees, and offer contactless payments at a time when consumers were wary of interacting with others.

Driving the news: More than three dozen advocacy groups launched a campaign late last week to pressure retailers to stop using facial recognition technologies, or to pledge not to use them.

Where it stands: Stores including Walmart, Kroger, Home Depot and Target have said they won’t use facial recognition technologies, per the advocacy groups’ running list of retailers.

  • But Albertson’s, Macy’s and Apple Stores are among major retailers that do use the technologies, per the groups’ list. Their privacy policies say they use it for security and to prevent fraud.