Cashierless tech startup Standard (formerly Standard Cognition) today announced the opening of a retail store retrofitted for a checkout-free experience. The University of Houston’s dining services partner, Chartwells Higher Education, collaborated with Standard to launch Market Next at Technology Bridge, a 24-hour location selling an assortment of snacks, coffee, beverages, microwavable items, and sandwiches.
Platforms like Amazon Go piqued public interest in contactless brick-and-mortar payments, but the pandemic is accelerating adoption as retailers scramble to deliver touchless experiences. In early September, Standard rival Grabango announced the launch of a “no-line” payment experience at a Giant Eagle supermarket in Pittsburgh. And facial recognition terminals like PopID are gaining traction among businesses looking to eliminate spread vectors. Speaking to chargeback company Chargebacks 911, ABC reported banks’ use of contactless payment options has surged 150% since March.
The University of Houston reports that 225 students, faculty, and staff tested positive for COVID-19 between March 2020 and October 1, bringing the case rate to 4.24 per 1,000. The college has adopted a hybrid model to reopening its campuses, with in-person and online services available to students.
Standard says Market Next was retrofitted with the startup’s ceiling-mounted cameras and machine-vision software that associates shoppers with items they wish to purchase. For payment, Standard’s platform integrates with Chartwells’ existing mobile ordering app — Boost — enabling shoppers to check out in as little as 2.3 seconds.
“A big focus has been on reducing the cost of our system and allowing for faster installations, which are key factors allowing us to have installed three stores with Compass, setting the stage to do many more,” CEO Jordan Fisher told VentureBeat via email. “We do expect somewhat lower traffic as a result of the pandemic, but we’re proud to be able to help students come back to campus in