Shoppers around the world are one step closer to experiencing artificial intelligence in action when they fill up their supermarket carts following a private investor’s buy-in to a leading AI start-up in the Southern Hemisphere.
IMAGR, an AI company from New Zealand, announced it has secured Sage Technologies as a cornerstone investor.
The investment is a significant commitment to accelerate the development of IMAGR’s retail product, Smartcart.
Smartcart is an image recognition retrofit solution designed to eliminate the queues at checkouts and is set to revolutionise the shopping experience for consumers and retailers.
IMAGR founder, William Chomley, who founded the company in Sydney, Australia in 2015, before returning to his home country to set up the business in Auckland 12 months ago, says the new partnership will fast-track the company’s product developments.
Chomley continues, “We’re passionate about delivering the world’s best consumer experiences through image processing and artificial intelligence.
“Our goal is to give retailers innovative solutions for efficiency, and with the support of Sage Technologies, we are now able to progress much more quickly towards rolling out our product range on an international scale.”
Working in real-time using computer vision technology, Smartcart recognises products as they enter a supermarket cart, removing the need for traditional barcode scanning and the checkout process.
To activate, a customer downloads the app for the store they visit and sets up their payment method.
While in store, shoppers pair their smartphone with the shopping cart and as they add items to the cart the items appear on their phone’s virtual basket.
IMAGR came to the attention of Sage Technologies just four months ago.
IMAGR welcomed Michael Boocher, Sage Technologies head of investment, based out of Dubai, to its board as a director.
Boocher, “IMAGR’s Smartcart promises to provide a truly friction-less retail experience, and while our connection to technology is often cited as being responsible for increased isolationism, there are some interactions we can live without.
“We’re excited to work with William and his team in IMAGR’s next phase of growth, offering product innovation and enhanced in-store user-experiences.”
IMAGR is already in talks with top FMCG retailers in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and America about using Smartcart to enhance everyday experiences and will move into the testing phase (beta) in April 2018.