Kende Gastro Plc. has unveiled Hungary's first automated container store using artificial intelligence; the company is the exclusive European distributor of the technology and plans to expand to neighboring countries, Gábor Kende, founder and CFO of the company, told the state news agency MTI.
The automated stores do not require staff, including cashiers, and use cameras to track purchases and identify products taken from the shelves, and can operate 24 hours a day, he said.
The system identifies the products taken from the shelf, puts them in a virtual basket and automatically deducts the value from the credit card saved in the app after the customer leaves the store, he added.
Plans to develop cashier-free stores started in 2020, and the company's first automated bistro opened in Budapest late last year.
The technology was developed by Amazon in 2018, after which several start-ups started building similar systems, with 10-12 companies globally currently working on it, he said. Kende Gastro chose AiFi and Cloudpick. The Hungarian family business is a European distributor with exclusive rights in Hungary, he added.
Gábor Kende said that a 20-sqm container shop with a standard floor area and equipment costs around HUF 20-40 million on a turnkey basis. Companies will be provided with professional advice on site selection, installation and commissioning of smart camera technology. In addition, they will provide ongoing IT support during the operation, as well as evaluative reports on turnover, customers and shopping conditions.
Kende Gastro Plc. has so far invested HUF 150 million in the construction of the showroom and the container shop, with the self-financing being supported by a subsidized investment loan from Kavosz Plc.
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