Smart Retail Enters a New Era with Viscovery’s Visual Checkout

March 8, 2019

BusinessNext 翁書婷 (Read Original Article)

Established in 2013, Viscovery is a well-known Taiwan startup specialized in Computer Vision AI and has acquired investment from Alibaba Entrepreneur Fund. With visual recognition technology, Viscovery has provided “Visual Content-related Advertisement Solutions” to Tencent, SOHU and LETV. In 2019, Viscovery entered Japan market in 2019, targeted the retail industry and provided Visual Checkout and Visual Search solutions. Currently, Viscovery has been cooperating with Taiwan’s biggest E-Commerce company. Hopefully, Viscovery’s Visual Search solution will be integrated in the E-Commerce service soon.

Viscovery’s Bakery Visual Checkout are gaining favor with Taiwan bakery chain stores
Based on artificial intelligence, deep learning and computer vision, Viscovery’s Visual Checkout system replaces the conventional ways to checkout. All shoppers need to do is placing all the products on the checkout counter for computer to automatically recognize the products, quantity and price. Simply easy and fast. Viscovery’s Visual Checkout system detects and recognizes bread and everyday store products at 98% accuracy, and is able to distinguish the variance in bread’s natural appearance—between different bread types and breads of the same type.

Viscovery’s Bakery Visual Checkout system wins favor with Taiwan bakery chain stores. “The challenge of bread recognition lies in the variance in bread’s natural appearance. The baking colors and shapes among same-type pieces of bread vary greatly. Viscovery’s visual recognition technologies are able to overcome the hurdle.” Viscovery’s COO, Joseph Liu, stressed.

Viscovery collaborates with a renowned industrial computer company in Taiwan to develop an AI-powered visual checkout system for bread, paving the way for the era of smart retail.
▲ Viscovery’ Bakery Visual Checkout system assists cashier to correctly recognize bread

Viscovery’s solutions need low hardware requirement and is simple to integrate
Viscovery’s COO, Joseph Liu pointed out “If retailers would like to build a ‘take and go’ unmanned store, it costs 1 million US dollars for hardware setup. However, Viscovery’s Product Visual Checkout solution simply requires a simple 1080P camera and GPU, which is around 1,200 US dollars (around 37,200 NT dollars), to integrate with a retailer’s existing POS system.”

▲ Viscovery’s Product Visual Checkout system is easy to operate and accelerates checkout time, considerably decreasing customers’ checkout waiting time

Although self-checkout systems, which allow shoppers to scan barcodes by themselves, have been using for years, shoppers have to spend much time scanning products’ barcodes one by one. The checkout procedure may still lead to long checkout lines and influence customers’ shopping experience.

For product management, Viscovery’s Product Visual Checkout solution requires only 5 photos for updating a new product. There is no need to re-train the recognition model as Viscovery understands that convenience and practicality are definitely crucial for retailers.

Viscovery’s Visual Search solution breaks the limitation of textual search and allows users to search for products without having to know the product name, e.g. searching for a product with descriptions in a foreign language or when they do not know the product name. This capability creates a win-win situation for both online and offline retailers and shoppers, allowing products to be searched and found more easily and intuitively, which is especially helpful in product categories such as clothing, shoes, bags, and cosmetics which are not easily described.

Viscovery is planning to setup branch offices in Japan in the second half of year 2019
Viscovery’s customers ranging from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. As Japan undergoes a demographic shift due to an aging society and low birth rates, retailers are plagued by increasing labor shortages, making it ever more difficult to hire staff and more willing to adopt AI solutions. Therefore, Viscovery will focus on Japan market in 2019 and set up branch offices in Japan in the second half of the year.

Thanks for BusinessNext’s report and introduction: