Israeli startup Trigo has inked a deal with Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, to pilot Trigo’s AI-based autonomous supermarket checkout system.

Wakefern is the logistics, distribution and merchandising arm for ShopRite stores along with another 50 other companies including Price Rite, Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market.

Trigo already is deployed at Tesco in the UK, REWE in Germany (under the brand name “Grab and Go”), Aldi NORD and the EDEKA Group’s Netto. Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, has rolled out the system in some of its branches.

Trigo’s “EasyOut” technology combines a ceiling-based camera network with machine vision algorithms to identify and capture customers’ chosen items as they shop.

The original idea, CEO Michael Gabay explains, was to build a smart shopping cart but, “it was too expensive, it broke a lot, people steal them, they have to replace batteries and do maintenance. That’s where we got the idea to put cameras overhead.”

With Trigo, stores don’t need to make any changes – no rearranging products, installing shelf-level sensors or entering codes.

Shoppers scan a QR code as they enter the store. Then they shop as usual, only without having to wait in line and interact with a cashier. Change your mind about an item? Remove it from the cart and Trigo will update your account. And no personal information is stored about shoppers.

“With Trigo’s frictionless technology, Wakefern is opening up access to cutting-edge innovation for our members,” said Charlie McWeeney, VP of technology, innovation and strategy for the group, which includes nearly 360 supermarkets in the northeast United States. “We are excited to pilot Trigo’s solution and offer our consumers the ultimate in checkout convenience.”

Trigo offers stores additional modules such as predictive inventory management, pricing optimization, security and fraud prevention, and event-driven marketing.

Photo courtesy of Supersmart

Other Israeli startups in this space include “smart cart” makers Flow and A2Z Smart Technologies; SuperSmart, whose “Scan & Go” system allows for autonomous fast checkout; and Preciate pay-by-face solution.

Juniper Research forecasts nearly $400 billion in smart checkout transactions by 2025.