- The University of Pittsburgh announced Thursday that it will use Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at one of its campus convenience stores.
- The addition, which the university will deploy in partnership with payment firm Transact Campus and foodservice provider Chartwells Higher Education, will allow visitors to The Market at Towers to scan in using the Transact mobile app. They then select products before walking out and being automatically charged via the frictionless checkout system.
- Amazon has targeted campus markets as prime spots to incorporate its Just Walk Out technology, having opened its first such location back in March.
Although Amazon’s frictionless checkout technology has yet to take off at retail locations beyond its Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh units, the company is having some success in connecting with colleges and universities.
Back in March, Amazon announced the opening of its first Just Walk Out-powered campus c-store, at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. That came just a few days after the e-commerce company solidified its partnership with Transact Campus, a mobile payments company that serves 12 million college students on campuses across the country. The following month, it added another student-focused c-store, this time at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
Digital-savvy, on-the-go college students represent a clear target market for this type of checkout technology. In addition to Amazon’s recent momentum, frictionless company Standard partnered with Chartwells last year to carry out integrations on at least 100 campus locations across the U.S.
Live sports fans have emerged as another target market for these technology companies, with stadiums like T-Mobile Park in Seattle and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas adding frictionless checkout in numerous spots.
At the University of Pittsburgh’s The Market, students who use frictionless checkout will see the money they spend automatically deducted from their campus funds. The technology system, which relies on computer vision and generative AI to track shoppers and the items they take off the shelves, will allow the market to operate 24 hours a day, according to the university’s announcement.
The Market’s technology update is part of a multimillion-dollar renovation the University of Pittsburgh is carrying out at its dining facility, which the school expects to complete by fall 2024.