Supermarket Automatic Check-Out System (SACOS)

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Consumer Products
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Problem:

Do you hate to wait in line when you are ready to checkout? Even in today’s Self-Checkout station requires that each item to be checked out to be scanned manually. Introduction of the new Supermarket Automatic Check-Out System (SACOS) will eliminate the frustration of line not moving either due to slow Cashier in processing the checkout items, scanners do not correspond to the bar codes, item price tag cannot be recognized, or too much time wasted between the Customer being served and the Cashier. In addition to that, SACOS can accurately count, weigh and scan the checkout items, and therefore reduces human errors. SACOS is a major threat to shopping theft as all items in the shopping cart are checkout and verified. SACOS is the ultimate solution to shopping efficiency, security, satisfaction and quality.

Solution:

SACOS uses three existing technologies to accomplish the items checkout task. Weighing machine, Electromagnetic (EM) wave Transmitter and Receiver, and Pattern Recognition (PR) software.

Weighing machine is an electronic device that translates item weight into a numerical value. This value is collected and to be used later for Pattern Recognition. EM wave could be either Infra Red (IR), Microwave or any other radio frequency that is safe for human exposure. Transmitter will send EM wave signal towards the checkout items and Receiver will collect the signal after passing through the items. The collected EM wave signal at the Receiver will then be interpreted by Pattern Recognition software along with the previously collected Weighing machine numerical value to identify the exact items in the shopping cart.

Why not using RFID instead? First, the packaging cost for each item would increase. Second, privacy invasion issue would be raised as the RFID on the purchased items could be tracked even after they left the supermarket. Implementation of RFID on SACOS is limited only to expensive electronics for theft prevention purpose.

Initial setup cost is low because the machine does not require expensive parts to be manufactured. A new checkout cashier counter would have cost $3000-$4500 per unit. If properly designed, SACOS would cost less in addition to the advantages mentioned.

How it works?

1. All the items to be purchased are placed into the shopping cart.
2. Push the shopping cart completely into the SACOS.
3. Start the PR process by pressing the Start button.
4. All recognized items will be displayed on the screen for Customer’s confirmation.
5. If the Customer agrees with the checkout items and prices, then proceed to the Payment process.
6. The items checked out could be bagged by personnel or customers.
7. Finally, collect the store receipt.

These are basic steps of the SACOS. Shopping centers or supermarkets could customize their process based on their preference. The main idea here is to have the SACOS to perform items checkout automatically without Cashier’s interaction.

Advantages:

* Save time because no items removal from shopping cart and no bar code scanning.

* Avoid long line.

* Prevent human mistakes.

* Cost effective.

Voting

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Francis Kok
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    1
  • Francis's hobbies and activities:
    Electronics designing, reading.
  • Francis belongs to these online communities:
    Youtube
  • Francis is inspired by:
    Found that noises are available every where, and other energy resources are expensive and limited.
  • Software used for this entry:
    MS Power Point, MS Word
  • Patent status:
    pending