Self-checkout counters/lanes at grocery stores aren’t new. Maybe some people prefer bagging their own groceries, or maybe some people think it’s faster than standing in line. Either way it’s an idea that’s been done before, but over in Japan, Panasonic has a plan that could take self-checkouts to the next level.
How next level can self-checkouts get? Simple: by scanning and bagging items for you automatically. This means that not only do customers not need to scan items manually, but they also don’t need to bag their own groceries, which can be pretty handy if you’re unsure what is the best way to pack them into a bag.
Panasonic is currently conducting a trial run at a Lawson’s store opposite its headquarters in Osaka. This sounds like a pretty amazing idea, especially when you consider how well it could fit in with other concepts such as Amazon Go, Amazon’s take on the supermarket of the future where your items can be scanned and billed to your Amazon account as you go.
It is unclear as to when Panasonic’s new scanning and bagging system will be fully implemented, although the company did note that this was not meant to replace humans at their jobs. According to Lawson’s Sadanobu Takemasu, “Our store is also a point of communication for neighbors, where customers can enjoy chatting with clerks.”