The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by desire for convenience and simplicity and the growing importance of technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), contactless payments, and cloud. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Retail: Self-checkout POS terminal. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

70+ innovations will shape the retail industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the retail industry using innovation intensity models built on over 128,000 patents, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, contactless kiosks and delivery drones are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. RFID for inventory tracking, autonomous delivery vehicle navigation systems, and contactless card payments are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are M2M payment interfaces and e-commerce robotic process automation, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the retail industry

Self-checkout POS terminals are a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Self-checkout POS terminals enable consumers to pay for their purchased items without human intervention. These self-checkout terminals suit convenience stores and grocery stores, minimising consumers’ time at billing desks. The best self-checkout POS terminals are those that can be customised to shoppers’ needs and are cost-effective and easy to use.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of self-checkout POS terminal.

Key players in self-checkout POS terminals – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to self-checkout POS terminals

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toshiba 1448 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 259 Unlock Company Profile
TERAOKA SEIKO 172 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 138 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 128 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 124 Unlock Company Profile
Extreme Networks 80 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 80 Unlock Company Profile
Angel Playing Cards 62 Unlock Company Profile
NCR 61 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 58 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 45 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 40 Unlock Company Profile
Digimarc 36 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 35 Unlock Company Profile
Everseen 31 Unlock Company Profile
Hydra 29 Unlock Company Profile
Standard Cognition 27 Unlock Company Profile 24 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 20 Unlock Company Profile
Metrologic Instruments 20 Unlock Company Profile
Glory 19 Unlock Company Profile
Accel Robotics 18 Unlock Company Profile
Diebold Nixdorf 18 Unlock Company Profile
NEC Infrontia 17 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Tobacco 17 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 16 Unlock Company Profile
Catalina Marketing 16 Unlock Company Profile
Signpost 15 Unlock Company Profile
Seven & i Holdings 14 Unlock Company Profile
MSIGHT Technologies 14 Unlock Company Profile
PayPal Holdings 14 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 14 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 14 Unlock Company Profile
Capital One Financial 13 Unlock Company Profile
United States Postal Service 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fiserv 11 Unlock Company Profile 11 Unlock Company Profile
LG 11 Unlock Company Profile
Target 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 11 Unlock Company Profile
Gatekeeper Systems 10 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 10 Unlock Company Profile
Fast Retailing 10 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 9 Unlock Company Profile
Maplebear 9 Unlock Company Profile
Toppan 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 9 Unlock Company Profile
ArcSoft 8 Unlock Company Profile
DeepBlue Technology (Shanghai) 8 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading players in IoT-powered self-checkout POS terminals in terms of patents filed are Toshiba, NEC, Teraoka Seiko, Walmart, and Casio Computer. In August 2022, Grupo Exito, a Colombian grocery retailer, announced plan to implement a scalable self-checkout solution offered by Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions.

Leading players in this space in terms of application diversity are ArcSoft, Angel Playing Cards, Gatekeeper Systems, Metrologic Instruments, and Accel Robotics.

Samsung Group, Angel Playing Cards, PayPal Holdings, Everseen, and Accel Robotics lead the space in terms of geographic reach.

Consumers were habituated to seeking minimum human intervention while shopping amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This factor, along with convenience, will push up the proliferation of self-checkout POS terminals in the future.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Retail and Apparel.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.