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ITRI and 7-Eleven Unveil Unmanned “X-STORE 7”

24/7 store at institute’s Taiwan headquarters




Photography: Courtesy of ITRI/7-Eleven

Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has teamed with 7-Eleven (Irving, Texas) to open an unmanned convenience store prototype. Located in ITRI’s headquarters in Hsinche, the always-open X-STORE 7 utilizes the institute’s Grab & Go System Service that includes smart shelves and a variety of artificial intelligence(AI) sensors.

“We integrated smart shelves with AI technologies such as weight sensors, infrared-light curtain, ID confirmation and customer-positioning technologies to fully grasp consumer preferences and digitalize store management,” said Pang-An Ting, General Director of ITRI’s Information and Communications Research Laboratories.

He added that this “not only aids businesses in streamlining operations and addresses labor-allocation challenges, but also caters to the shopping needs of remote and under-resourced areas.”

The AI-activated smart shelves and ledger system allow for efficient inventory monitoring, sales tracking and identification of customer hotspots, with a remote worker managing these tasks in real time. Customers can display a QR code from the 7-Eleven app to enter, pick up or return items without the need for baskets or carts, and finalize purchases at a dedicated checkout area before exiting.

Compared to existing cashier-less stores which mainly rely on computer vision systems, the X-STORE 7’s sensor-driven approach significantly reduces computation complexity and camera-related costs, creating a business model favorable to rapid expansion and deployment, its backers say.

However, the institute and c-store operator have not yet detailed any further expansion plans for pilot store.




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