Lo and behold, India now has a retail store that allows customers to pick up items and leave

Read full story


  • Earlier this week, India’s very first autonomous retail store was opened in Kochi.
  • The 24x7 convenience store, which is named Watasale, does not have salespeople or cash registers.
  • The technologies used in the store - machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence- are similar to the ones used in Amazon’s check-out free grocery store in Seattle - Amazon Go.

The concept of checkout lines, cashiers and even shoplifting could soon be a distant memory. Earlier this week, India’s very first autonomous retail store was opened in Kochi. The 24x7 convenience store, which is appropriately named Watasale, does not have salespeople or cash registers and allows shoppers to pick up whatever they want and leave.

All they need to do is download the Watasale app and scan a QR code in order to get past the store’s turnstiles. While in the store, they can choose from two rows of goods, which include food and beverage items as well as toiletries. A number of sensors automatically take note of the products that are picked up. Once the customers leave the store, they are presented with a bill on their phone which they can pay online. In the future, the company will require customers to have a pre-loaded wallet before entering the store which will automatically get deducted once they leave.

The technologies used in the store - machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence- are similar to the ones used in Amazon’s check-out free grocery store in Seattle - Amazon Go- which was opened to the public in January 2018.



The AI-driven store is a brainchild of five engineers from Kochi who have been working on the concept since 2015, conducting research and experimenting with different models. Watasale’s CEO and CTO, Subash S, was formerly the founder of Oranz Technology Solutions, a Kochi-based IT security solutions firm.

India’s supermarket chains should take note. While the team launched the store without any external funding, it is looking for investments in order to add new outlets in Tier-1 cities like New Delhi and Bengaluru.

In fact, following its launch, Watasale has reportedly received an investment offer from Mitsui & Co, a Japanese trading conglomerate. The next phase of the company’s strategy also involves the launch of micro-grocery stores in residential complexes, metro stations and offices.
{{}}
Add Comment()

Comments ()

X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.