An Australian company has integrated machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop technology that will put an end to supermarket checkout cheating.

By Joe McDonough


Posted on March 7, 2018

Most of us have thought about it, ‘Damn avocados are expensive, what’s the harm in scanning one as a potato?’.

Many have actually followed through on the self-serve checkout scam — scanning barcode-free fruit or vegetables as cheaper varieties or different produce entirely.

In fact, Australian retailers lose $9.3 billion per year as a result of theft.

A Queensland mother was given a suspended jail sentence, after she was caught sticking the barcodes of 65c and 72c packets of two-minute noodles to more expensive items.

She took home $4500 worth of groceries from Coles and Woolworths before her elaborate scam was brought to light.

But an automated product recognition system will put an end to the cheating.

Australian start-up Tiliter Technology has developed a ‘smart checkouts’ system, which uses a camera to identify the product, before entering the information into the point-of-sale system.

The innovation spells the end of barcodes, such is the accuracy of the technology.

“Our tech is different from some of the stuff we have seen struggle in the past because it can tell the difference between a red delicious and royal gala apple for example,” co-founder Chris Sampson told News.com.au.

It can tell the difference between a red delicious and royal gala apple.

“It’s based on machine learning and artificial intelligence which has been taught to recognise different types of fruit and other products.

“The big value for supermarkets is removing the significant loss seen from people entering the wrong information when using self-service checkouts.

“However, customers will also benefit by not needing to search through menus trying to identify the items they are purchasing.”

Of course, retailers adopting the smart checkout technology will still be a step behind Amazon Go supermarkets, which have done away with checkouts of any kind.