Viscovery and I JY SHENG launch the first AI-enabled bakery visual checkout in Taiwan

October 16, 2019

Viscovery, a leading Computer Vision AI company, and Ijysheng, a renowned bakery chain store from Taiwan, collaborated on the launch of the first AI-enabled Bakery Visual Checkout System in Taiwan. This is the second time that Ijysheng leads Taiwan bakery industry to adopt innovative technologies to enhance in-store services. Two years ago, Ijysheng was the first to implement Pepper, a humanoid robot, to improve customer shopping experience.

The president of Ijysheng, Jimmy Liao, pointed out, “Due to the rapid development of artificial intelligence in recent years, more and more industries have adopted AI technology for various applications.” Mr. Liao has been thinking how AI could assist his bakery stores. He came to the conclusion that one of the major pain points of his operation, checkout, would be a perfect candidate. Since most of the breads and pastries sold in bakery stores are freshly made, they are generally sold without packages and barcodes. Checkout requires cashiers to manually recognize each bread and enter the corresponding item into the POS system one by one. This results in long checkout waiting time especially during busy times. Similar to facial recognition, Mr. Liao wanted to apply AI recognition technology to recognize breads and help to improve checkout efficiency.

In order to verify the idea, Ijysheng spent two years searching for the right technology and partner. After talking to various companies from US, Japan, and China, they were able to find Viscovery whose Bakery Visual Checkout solution met Ijysheng’s needs.

In September, Ijysheng launched Viscovery Bakery Visual Checkout system at its flagship store located on Nangjing East Road in Taipei. Compared to the previous manual checkout method, cashiers no longer need to recognize breads one-by-one and manually enter each product into the POS system. Instead, Bakery Visual Checkout system takes over the task of recognizing multiple breads instantly and provides the result to the POS system directly.

As the first AI use case in Taiwan bakery industry, I JY SHENG flagship store deployed Viscovery AI-enabled bakery Visual Checkout system in 2019.
▲ Shoppers place breads on Viscovery Vision Kit to check-out

Viscovery’s COO, Joseph Liu, indicated that Viscovery team was impressed by Ijysheng president’s, Jimmy Liao’s vision and determination to apply AI to his bakery stores. Using the latest computer vision and deep learning technologies, Viscovery Bakery Visual Checkout system is able to distinguish the variance in breads’ natural appearance—between different bread types and bread of the same type. With merely a 1080p camera, the system is able to recognize multiple breads, all at one time, by the appearance features. At the time of launch, Viscovery visual checkout system was able to recognize breads at an accuracy of close to 95%. After the launch, the accuracy soon improved to over 99% through model tuning and self-learning.

Viscovery Bakery Visual Checkout system was a huge success at Ijysheng’s flagship store. Ijysheng staff excitedly shared that the new system has greatly helped their daily work especially during rush hour. Ijysheng is planning to deploy the visual checkout solution to its 20+ stores throughout Taiwan.

Mr. Liao underlines that technology has been changing and shaping our lives in a seamless way from the rise of personal computers 20 years ago and the great impact smartphones have brought from 10 years ago. He believes AI is definitely the next one to make our lives easier and help us do our jobs better and more efficiently. Mr. Liao emphasizes that AI and human mind have different but complementary capabilities. For example, Viscovery Bakery Visual Checkout system has helped to shorten the checkout time and allow store staff to spend more time on creative work and provide in person services. Ijysheng firmly believes that AI is on the right path to optimize its business operation and work hand in hand with its staff to provide even better service while strengthening overall business competitiveness.

▲ Bakery Visual Checkout System recognizes breads within 1 second
▲ Viscovery Bakery Visual Checkout system in I JY SHENG’s flagship store