Take a Preview of Future Retail With AI Solutions From YI Tunnel

Press Release



updated: Oct 31, 2018


GITEX Tech Week 2018 took place in Dubai during October 14-18, 2018. This is the biggest IT exhibition and also the most influential one in the Middle East. YI Tunnel, China’s leading AI startup focusing on the retail industry, was invited to the event by Etisalat, the telecom leader in the Middle East.  

Other retail-related companies were also invited to showcase their technologies for future retail, including the time-honored companies Datalogic and PTC along with startups Robomart and Shelfie.

YI Tunnel showcased three AI retail solutions at the event: the first is the unmanned store solution, which operates on the computer vision technology with a cost far lower than that of the global leader’s system; the second is the AI cooler or usually known as the AI vending machine, which is based on computer vision technology too with a cost of only 40% of that of traditional automatic vending machines; and the third is the world’s first AI checkout robot, which enables automatic checkout by “looking” at the purchased items.

If there was a highlight in the retail area of Etisalat’s booth, it was definitely YI Tunnel’s unmanned store. You just need to scan your face to open it. Then you can take any item on the shelf. If you don’t like the item, you can put it back anywhere on the shelf, not necessarily it originally is. The payment will be made automatically when you leave the store. 

Compared to systems of other AI companies, apart from the use of the vision recognition technology, there is no RFID tag or weight sensor in the unattended store of YI Tunnel either. This makes it possible for rapid expansion.

YI Tunnel’s AI cooler is a dynamic pure-vision solution. Using an algorithm based on the Convolutional Neural Network, the cooler works with 2 cameras to dynamically recognize items being taken out and put back. Using it is really a “take and go” experience: You just need to scan the QR code on the cooler’s door or scan your face to open it. After that, you can pick up any item, and when you close the door, the payment will be made automatically.

Last but not least, YI Tunnel also showcased an AI robot for checkout in retail. With this device, you just need to put your purchases on its counter to check out. You don’t have to look for barcodes or make a distinction between grocery items that are prepackaged and those that are not. The prices of your items will be displayed on the screen. You can pay for them using a mobile payment method of your choice.

YI Tunnel’s three AI solutions are designed to digitize elements in retail including customers, merchandise and stores to create a closed-loop for retail from data acquisition and data management/analysis to supply chain optimization. 

The biggest advantage of these solutions is their ability to collect data and analyze data. Through data analysis, retailers will be able to offer a personalized shopping experience for their consumers and empower the daily store operation with business intelligence to realize smart supply chain management, smart shelf management, and so on. This puts AI to the best use in retail. With its AI solutions, YI Tunnel enables retailers to take advantage of their data to the maximum extent possible. 

GITEX Tech Week 2018 marked the beginning of the collaboration between Etisalat and YI Tunnel. They will work together to take YI Tunnel’s AI solutions to many other places. YI Tunnel CEO Yili Wu expressed thanks to Etisalat for being invited, and he hoped that the company will be able to serve customers in Dubai soon with its solutions showcased at the event.

Source: YI Tunnel