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03/24/2021

Major U.S. airports deploy robotic vending machines

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The newest “stores” at several U.S. airports enable consumers to instantly get the products they need or want, without dealing with anyone or touching anything.

Airports including San Francisco International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Atlanta Hartsfield, and Houston are deploying contactless shopping technology from Swyft Inc. Consumers can stand in front of robotic stores equipped with Swyft technology and use their mobile phone to complete their purchase. 

Customers can also pay using their physical credit card or NFC-enabled phone, and are not required to download a mobile app or create a mobile wallet or online account. Every automated store (robotic vending machine) on Swyft's platform is a connected micro-warehouse.

Providing a continual supply of time-pressed customers, airports have proven a natural location for automated, contact-free stores. Travel retailer Hudson recently launched a new contactless shopping format based on Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology, Hudson Nonstop, at Dallas Love Field Airport

Cibo Express began deploying “Just Walk Out” in select airport stores in March 2020. In August 2020, Marshall Retail Group began rolling out Oracle Retail Xstore self-checkout and mobile clienteling technology at stores in locations including airports.

"Our focus is to deliver safe and convenient experiences,” said Lincoln Smith, president and VP product, Swyft. “As a technology platform, we're very happy to have our brand partners get the credit for the experience that we deliver for them."