Tech giant IBM turns to Holloway Road Shell garage to trial futuristic checkout that scans whole basket at once

PUBLISHED: 13:20 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:20 25 January 2018

The checkout in the Holloway Road Shell garage. Picture: IBM

The checkout in the Holloway Road Shell garage. Picture: IBM


People filling up their cars at the Shell garage in Holloway Road in the last six weeks have been given the chance to trial a piece of cutting-edge technology that could lower heart-rates in supermarkets everywhere.

The checkout in the Holloway Road Shell garage. Picture: IBMThe checkout in the Holloway Road Shell garage. Picture: IBM

Tech giant IBM decided to place its new futuristic checkout at the Shell Select store to see how customers took to it.

The new system is designed to scan an entire basket or trolley in one go – potentially putting and end to the sometimes excruciating process of scanning stuff by hand.

As the centrepiece of IBM’s “shop of the future”, it is 15 times faster than standard self-service checkouts and could render barcodes obsolete, as each item has a tiny radio frequency ID chip containing much more information.

To use the checkout, a customer places their shopping on a scanning platform that displays a list of items.

They then open a smartphone app and tap the device on a reader to deduct payment from an account linked to a card app such as Apply Pay. They are then emailed a receipt.

A store supervisor told the Gazette: “They [IBM] came to our garage and asked us to do it. The customers are happy with it.

“It’s a good thing, a new technology and a lot of people are interested in it.”

The pilot will be followed by the opening of a “connected” concept store full of the smart checkouts and other gadgets.

An IBM spokeswoman said: “Over 130 customers have trialled the live environment in a Shell store in North London, with very positive feedback.

“The trial was designed to build both the retailer and the customer into designing the experience and it’s an exciting step forward for the industry.”

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