RFID Based Walk-through Checkout Solution for Future Retail

Fukuoka, Japan - February 19, 2018 - Panasonic and Trial Company, Inc. (hereafter referred to as "Trial") together conducted a demonstration experiment of the industry's first "RFID based walk-through automatic checkout solution" featuring Trial's "RFID tagging," which manages manufacturing and distribution data. This demonstration was held at the experimental shop, "Trial Lab ," located at the Trial headquarters.

With this "RFID based walk-through automatic checkout solution," customers can automatically checkout by walking through the checkout lane with the basket containing products with RFID tags. By scanning information of, for example, prepaid cards in advance, the solution will automatically scan products and complete payment, thereby significantly shortening the checkout time. This also dramatically reduces the store staff operation, thereby contributing to labor-savings. And the ability to keep track of the individual products enables dynamic pricing. So by using RFID, this solution proposes a wide range of benefits to the retail trade and consumers.

With respect to the demonstration experiment, Hiroyuki Aota, President of Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd. stated, "We are utilizing IoT and robotics technology to provide retail, distribution, and logistic solutions that help realize a better life and society. In 2017, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced its plans to introduce 100 billion electronic tags for products sold in convenience stores. With this tailwind, we are developing individual solutions that have the potential to become key solutions for the retail and distribution industry. These include the RFID "Regi-robo(r)," and as well as RFID platforms, and this RFID based walk-through automatic checkout solution is another example. During this demonstration experiment, Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions will examine the feasibility of this solution, and continue to develop solutions that will help address the challenges each industry is facing."

Trial's President, Hitoshi Narakino stated, "Labor shortage due to the declining birthrate and an aging population that the retail trade is facing is unavoidable. Many operations are being reinvented with IT, but the reinvention of payment operations is most pressing. This demonstration will serve as the next step for reinventing the checkout process and we will continue to explore the possibilities of a new 'quick' checkout system as well as stores with a few employees and eventually unmanned stores."

During the demonstration experiment of the walk-through automatic checkout solution, both companies will explore the potential for applying RFID to future payment systems and for reinventing supply chains.

About Trial Company, Inc.

"Transforming distribution with IT" - this idea is the origin of Trial Company. Since being founded in 1980, the company has anticipated the development of the retail market in Japan and thus strategically focused on IT for the retail and distribution industry. Using IT technology, the company has grown to become a retail operator with stores nationwide that offers products at low prices.

About Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd.

The five key business areas for Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd. are "Retail & Logistics," "Entertainment," "Public," "Avionics," and "Manufacturing." The company will create synergy between its mounting/welding and other focus technologies like IoT to develop new solutions for a diverse range of industry customers including manufacturers and propose new value to customers' entire manufacturing process.

Note:

This demonstration experiment was made possible by the know-how and advice provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the kind cooperation offered by the companies listed below: 4U Applications / Daiwa Computer Co., Ltd. / Denso Wave Incorporated / Eftect Co., Ltd., KHWAYZ Co., Ltd. / Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd. / Osaka Sealing Printing Co., Ltd. / SATO Corporation
(in alphabetical order)

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A step closer to distribution reform. Consumer behavior and product trend analysis evolves with smart cameras

Panasonic's Vieureka platform uses smart cameras equipped with PUX Corporation's image recognition engine that can send data (gender, age, etc.) about customers in the store to the cloud, and analyze such data. This makes visible and quantifies purchase behavior 24-7, while also giving due consideration to privacy. At the supermarket Trial opened on February 14, 2018, the "Super Center Trial Island City" (5-2-23 Kashiiteriha, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture), a total of 700 cameras - 100 smart cameras from Panasonic and 600 smart cameras developed by Trial that makes product trends visible and quantifies such trends - have been installed. Based on the results of the analysis the store can improve the product layout and line-up, make sure shelves are always well stocked, and thereby further improve customer satisfaction.

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