State Trading Organisation (STO) has successfully launched the first-ever Smart Store in the Maldives. The grand inauguration ceremony took place in Hulhumale’ Phase 1, and the distinguished guest, Vice President Faisal Naseem, formally unveiled this revolutionary shopping experience.
The STO Smart Store, a trailblazing concept in the country, operates without conventional cashiers or sales personnel, introducing the pioneering Grab and Go concept. By incorporating cutting-edge AI camera technology, the store ensures efficient stock and inventory tracking, streamlining the shopping process for customers.
To indulge in the futuristic shopping experience, customers can utilize a dedicated mobile application available in both Dhivehi and English. Access to the store requires scanning a unique QR code on their smartphones or opting for seamless facial recognition technology. Only registered customers are granted entry, and they are billed for their chosen items through the application upon exiting the store. Those opting for facial recognition technology enjoy a hassle-free shopping experience without needing their phones throughout their visit.
STO’s Managing Director, Abdulla Saeed, emphasized the significance of this pioneering initiative, highlighting the rarity of such smart stores in the region. He expressed that the main objective of the Smart Store launch is to elevate customer convenience, while also acknowledging the vast potential for diverse business applications of this technology.
Safety remains a paramount concern, and the STO Smart Store has implemented advanced AI cameras capable of detecting customer movements and interactions with the merchandise. Additionally, shelves are equipped with weight sensors to accurately monitor the number of items customers take.
The store offers a swift and seamless payment process, with customers’ card information securely stored in the application. Upon completing their shopping, customers promptly receive their receipts within a mere 10 to 15 seconds. To maintain transparency, all products in the store feature price displays, and customers are only charged if they use a product and do not return it to its original shelf. However, if customers pick up an item and decide not to purchase it, they will not incur any charges.
The cutting-edge computer vision technology employed in the store boasts an impressive accuracy rate of 99%. In rare cases of misread products, customers are provided with the option to obtain a refund or seek support through the dedicated application.
With the STO Smart Store setting a precedent for technological innovation in the Maldives, consumers can look forward to enhanced shopping experiences in the future. The store’s launch signifies a progressive step towards integrating artificial intelligence and user-friendly interfaces in everyday retail, transforming the way customers engage with businesses.