San Jose State Launches Checkout Free Store

SAN JOSE — Students at San Jose State University (SJSU) will now have one less excuse for being late to class. The SJSU Ginger Market has been transformed into an autonomous retail experience, enabling students, faculty, and staff to grab the items they want and go—without having to scan anything or wait in line to pay. This first-of-a-kind store sells an assortment of items essential for campus life: a variety of pan-Asian snacks and meals, made-in-house sushi, poke bowls, locally roasted coffee, popular beverages, mochi, and more.

Building on a rich history of technological innovation, the university worked with Chartwells Higher Education and Standard AI, the world’s leading computer vision platform for retail, to retrofit the market without ceasing store operations or altering its layout. Standard AI was able to integrate fully with retail operations, including inventory management systems and visual merchandising.

Using AI-powered computer vision systems mounted at strategic locations throughout the store, the system accurately identifies the products shoppers select and automatically records the purchases on the SJSU Boost mobile app—eliminating time spent at traditional checkout areas. An exciting development for retail, the autonomous checkout system allows shoppers at the SJSU Ginger Market to skip the checkout line and receive detailed, accurate receipts in minutes.

“Checkout-free shopping is a groundbreaking innovation that will make our students’ daily lives a little easier,” said Raymond Luu, Associate Director of Commercial Services at SJSU. “The future of shopping comes to life in San Jose, the center of technological innovation. It’s fitting that a Silicon Valley school gives its students the latest in retail convenience so they can quickly shop, tap, and get on their way!”

Compass Digital Labs, a division of Compass Group, is working with Standard AI and other companies to retrofit a series of stores across North America at universities, corporate campuses, ballparks, arenas and more. The introduction of checkout-free experiences is the latest step by Chartwells Higher Ed in its effort to leverage cutting-edge technology to improve both the customer and associate experiences. The new autonomous checkout platform enables staff to devote more time to customer service and store management. Since Standard AI’s platform is designed to work without ever using facial recognition, customers can also rest easy knowing that their privacy is respected and protected.

“We pride ourselves on creating unique dining experiences beyond the walls of our dining halls, and automating the retail checkout experience is another way we’re bringing that to life at SJSU,” said Paul Cingolani, Resident District Manager at Chartwells Higher Education. “This technology removes some historical pain points – like waiting in long lines – and creates new opportunities for our associates to focus on more important and demanding in-store tasks.”

Chartwells provides food contract services to over 300 colleges and universities in the U.S.