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Minor league team makes autonomous checkout history with new store

The Worcester Red Sox are taking a big swing at “shop and go” retailing.

The team, a Triple A minor league affiliate of the world champion Boston Red Sox, will open the first autonomous checkout store in a pro sports and entertainment venue. The store will be located near centerfield in the Worcester Red Sox Polar Park stadium, scheduled to open in April 2021 in Worcester, Mass.

Selling snacks, drinks, and souvenirs, the store will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine vision technology from Standard Cognition to allow customers to shop and pay without any scanning, waiting in line, or stopping to check out. The store will be accessible and open to the public daily, whether or not there is a game at the ballpark.

The store will deploy ceiling-mounted cameras and proprietary AI and machine vision software to associate each shopper with the items they pick up. The process will not involve facial recognition or any other biometric technology. Customers will have the option to pay via the Standard or Polar Park apps, or visit a kiosk in the store to pay with cash or a credit/debit card.

Customers who choose to pay via kiosk do not have to scan anything. The kiosk will automatically recognize their purchases when they approach. The system requires no turnstiles, sensored shelves, or special store layout. Traditional POS checkout with a cashier will also be available.

“We are pleased to be the first to introduce this innovative technology at a ballpark,” said Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Larry Lucchino, now principal owner & chairman of the Worcester Red Sox. “We have long sought to reduce time spent waiting in lines in our venues, and Standard Cognition’s autonomous checkout technology will do just that. We look forward to this enhancement at Polar Park and expanding it to other ballparks and stadiums around the country.”

To see a video of Standard’s technology in action, click here.
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