With Amazon’s recent announcement to create ‘cashier-free’ supermarkets in the near future, there has been a race for other companies to create an experience to rival the global online retailer.

The Wall Street Journal has announced that technology giant Panasonic has decided to join this ‘race’ with the creation of a new automated supermarket checkout system.

Panasonic has hinted at a large-scale rollout of a smart checkout machine that can detect items in your shopping basket, calculate the value of your bill and then even bag the customer’s products.

The system is said to detect the electronic tags of the products in the basket as the customer shops, and when it comes to checking out, all the customer needs to do is place the basket onto this new Panasonic machine. The system will then drop the bottom of the basket into a carrier bag below, all whilst the customer pays for their shopping.

Going against Amazon’s concept of reducing human contact with the cashier-free supermarkets, Panasonic has suggested that instead of going along a similar path, they want to make the shopping experience easier and less time consuming for shoppers. As suggested by a Panasonic business-development executive, the concept has been developed for customers who do not want a “completely digitalised system”, but just want an easier way to do their supermarket shopping.

The system is currently being tested in Japan, which is set to finish testing in February, and there are already plans for a full rollout in 2018 –maybe an effortless shopping experience is just around the corner?

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