Coca-Cola China Teams Up With YI Tunnel to Build the First AI-Based Smart Freezer and Test the Waters for the AI-Enabled New Retail

​Recently, on the Baisha Road in an old neighborhood of downtown Changsha, a brand-new convenience store numbered KO/JD0001 in red and white attracted the attention of nearby residents. On the sign, the logos of Coca-Cola China and JD.com are especially eye-catching. There are a lot of young people coming and going. They are taking pictures and posting them on WeChat Moments. They are taking drinks from the freezer, but without paying for their purchases with cash. Everybody knows that the proprietress of the store is taking advantage of Coca-Cola’s CSR program, but they don’t know exactly how many new tricks the store has. 

“This is the first AI-based fully self-service freezer for Coca-Cola products in the country, and is put in my place for pilot operation,” said the proprietress with a family name of Chen a little bit proudly. “You scan a code to open the door, directly take what you want from the freezer, and the money will be transferred to my account. It’s very convenient.”

“After the store was upgraded into a smart convenience store, all I have here are hi-tech,” she added. “Now I can sleep for one more hour each day, and will never again have to come to the store at 6:30 am and make preparations in a hurry. I can clearly know everything just by moving my finger such as which item sells better, how many have been sold, and how much can I make each day, and all this relies on big-data analytics and digital management.”

The “smart weaponry”, which is the envy of others, mentioned by Ms. Chen represents a new experiment under Coca-Cola China’s “520 Program” designed to address the growth of women entrepreneurship.​In cooperation with the Xintonglu division of JD.com, Coca-Cola China is trying to find a feasible solution for helping the female owner-operators of traditional grocery stores transform their stores into smart convenience stores and enabling more and more women to embrace opportunities in the digital era.

Leveraging its solid technological strength as well as its rich experiences in serving renowned clients including Yonghui, CSF Market, Yoshinoya, and Hainan Airlines, the AI-based retail solutions provider YI Tunnel participated in upgrading the convenience store for Ms. Chen along with JD.com, a B2B partner of Coca-Cola China. The hi-tech freezer testing the waters in the store of Ms. Chen is built by YI Tunnel using the pure-vision AI technology aiming to empower operators of traditional convenience stores with better smart freezers. Hi-tech AI products not only help to attract young consumers for stores, but also make store operation more efficient. 

“Unlike traditional freezers, our smart freezer is a machine combining software and hardware together, i.e. the integration of an AI algorithm (software) and an ordinary freezer (hardware),” introduced the YI Tunnel engineer to the bystanders. “The camera within the freezer is based on the dynamic pure-vision AI technology, which determines the purchases of a customer by recognizing his or her action of taking items and putting them back with an accuracy of over 99 percent. We hope that the smart freezer for pilot use in Ms. Chen’s store can add luster to her ‘new’ convenience store.”

The smart freezer jointly built by Coca-Cola and YI Tunnel helps to diversify the landscape of traditional convenience stores , and represents a small step toward upgrading traditional convenience stores to make them smart. YI Tunnel is seeking to work with more leading brands to empower more convenience store operators through the power of technology and enable them to take a big step toward building a great life.

Source: YI Tunnel

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Categories: Retail

Tags: AI, Coca-cola, vending machine, YI Tunnel


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SandStar focuses on AI computer vision in the retail scene, using AI technology to constantly explore the edge of new retail. Its business launched in 11 countries, serving 20+ Fortune 500 companies globally, building the AI retail ecosystem.