Red Sox Larry Lucchino and Standard Cognition to Bring Autonomous Checkout to Entertainment Venues
Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer and pioneering sports executive Larry Lucchino and tech startup Standard Cognition have teamed up to bring autonomous checkout to sports and entertainment venues around the world.
In September 2019, the Worcester Red Sox, of which Lucchino is chairman and principal owner, became the first pro sports team to announce an autonomous checkout store, to be located in Polar Park, an innovative ballpark the team is building in Worcester, MA. It is scheduled to open in April 2021.
The store will be stocked with snacks, drinks, and souvenirs, and will leverage Standard’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Vision technology to allow customers to shop and pay without any scanning, waiting in line, or stopping to check out. Fans can simply walk in, take what they like, and walk out to enjoy the game. The store will be accessible and open to the public, whether or not there is a game at the ballpark.
Lucchino, who led the charge on the initial partnership, is known for driving innovation in pro sports venues. He was the visionary and driving force behind the creation of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore and Petco Park in San Diego before working with Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner to spearhead the renovation of Fenway Park and the creation of JetBlue Park in Lee County, FL.
Based on Standard Cognition’s technology design and vision for the market at Polar Park, Lucchino approached Standard, suggesting the two collaborate in bringing autonomous checkout to the sports and entertainment world.
“I’ve been involved in implementing innovative technology in venues, and autonomous checkout will have perhaps the biggest impact on the fan experience,” said Lucchino. “No one wants to waste time standing in line. Autonomous checkout eliminates that, and is a giant step forward, thanks to Standard Cognition’s proprietary invention. It enables venues to provide a frictionless experience, and we think it will be so impactful that we want to help other venues use it too.”
“I can’t think of a more respected partner in the pro sports world than Larry Lucchino,” said Michael Suswal, co-founder and COO of Standard Cognition. “Larry’s knowledge, experience, and relationships are already giving Standard a major advantage in the sports and entertainment world. We are thrilled to go to market with Larry and his team.”
Standard Cognition was one of the first startups in the autonomous checkout space, and first to open a cashierless store in San Francisco. The company has raised $86M in funding from high-profile investors including CRV, Initialized Capital, EQT Ventures and Y Combinator.
Standard leverages ceiling-mounted cameras and proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and machine vision software to accurately associate each shopper with the items they pick up – without using facial recognition or any other biometrics. Fans have the option to pay via the Standard or Polar Park apps or visit a kiosk in the store to pay with cash or a credit/debit card.
In addition, shoppers who choose to pay at the kiosk do not have to scan anything – the kiosk automatically recognizes their purchases when they approach. The system requires no turnstiles, sensored shelves, or special store layout, creating a seamless experience for customers and making it easy to retrofit into existing stores.