Students at California’s San Jose State University (SJSU) no longer have to wait in line to pay for their sushi or poke bowls. SJSU announced that it has converted its on-campus dining location, Ginger Market, into a fully autonomous retail experience. That means students, faculty, and staff can grab the items they want and go, without having to scan anything or wait in line to pay.

To launch the new store model, SJSU worked with Chartwells Higher Education, a food service management company, and Standard AI, a computer vision platform for retail, to retrofit the existing market without having to cease store operations or alter the layout. Standard AI was able to integrate fully with retail operations, including inventory management systems and visual merchandising.

“We pride ourselves on creating unique dining experiences beyond the walls of our dining halls, and automating the retail checkout experience is another way we’re bringing that to life at SJSU,” said Paul Cingolani, resident district manager at Chartwells Higher Education. “This technology removes some historical pain points – like waiting in long lines – and creates new opportunities for our associates to focus on more important and demanding in-store tasks.”

The store uses AI-powered computer vision systems mounted at strategic locations throughout the store. The system is able to accurately identify the products shoppers select and automatically record the purchases on the SJSU Boost mobile app. The school stressed that the Standard AI platform works without using facial recognition. A press release stressed that this means Ginger Market customers can “rest easy knowing that their privacy is respected and protected.”

“Checkout-free shopping is a groundbreaking innovation that will make our students’ daily lives a little easier,” said Raymond Luu, associate director of Commercial Services at SJSU. “The future of shopping comes to life in San Jose, the center of technological innovation. It’s fitting that a Silicon Valley school gives its students the latest in retail convenience so they can quickly shop, tap, and get on their way!”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs