New Zealand-based automated check-out start-up IMAGR has entered a partnership with Japanese department store operator H2O Retailing earning its first international sales partner.

IMAGR has developed an intelligent shopping trolley, SmartCart, which is designed to offer a hassle-free shopping experience for customers by automating checkouts and payments process.

Equipped with four cameras, the trolley makes use of computer vision technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

These cameras are capable of identifying and recording whatever goods are added or removed.

IMAGR founder and CEO William Chomley said: “We’re operating in a $5.7tn global brick and mortar grocery retail sector, let alone other types of retail. So, it’s a fallacy that there isn’t opportunity in bricks and motor retail.

“We know Japan is leading the way in evolving retail and it’s doing so on a mammoth scale. Japan’s the second largest retail market in the world, at close to $600bn in supermarket revenue, home to 127 million people, 55,000 convenience stores and over 8,000 supermarkets.

“It also has an ageing population and labour shortages which make it cost-prohibitive for retailers to find staff.”

The solution can be used by installing an app and then syncing their mobile devices with the cart when shopping. Customers can opt to use SmartCart with or without linking to a handset or payment method.

IMAGR’s technology is expected to be rolled out at H20 Retailing’s stores in May next year.

The company is currently in talks with retailers in New Zealand, the US and Europe to launch its technology.