The University of Houston Opens Cashierless Market Next Store

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

The University of Houston and its dining services partner Chartwells Higher Education, have partnered with Standard to transform an on-campus convenience store into a retrofitted, completely touchless, cashierless retail experience.

“Market Next” at Technology Bridge is now open on the University of Houston campus selling an assortment of snacks, coffee, beverages, microwavable items, sandwiches, and more. Operating 24 hours a day students can walk in, take what they like, and simply walk out -- without ever having to scan anything or wait in line to pay. The fastest full shopping trip recorded with the Standard platform is 2.3 seconds, which can happen because of its camera-based system, and is especially useful for students who are running late for class.

“Students’ tastes change constantly, and we’re well equipped to handle that. But their shopping preferences evolve too, and we want to continue providing new and unique shopping experiences that are unexpected on a college campus,” said David Riddle, VP of Operations for Chartwells Higher Ed, District Manager for UH System Dining. “This is the future of shopping, and with autonomous checkout through Standard, we’ve made it as easy, safe and convenient as possible for students to come in, get what they need, and go.”

Chartwells is actively working with Standard to retrofit a series of stores across North America: a convenience store equipped with Standard’s checkout-free technology has opened in North Carolina, and another will soon open in Ontario.

Market Next was retrofitted with Standard’s ceiling-mounted cameras and its proprietary AI and machine-vision software that accurately associates each shopper with the items they pick up to purchase – without using biometric data. At Market Next, Standard’s platform integrates with Chartwells’ existing mobile ordering app, for seamless payment.

“Checkout-free technology is an innovation that will make our students’ lives a little easier and a lot safer. This is the new standard for campus safety that is important to students today and for the foreseeable future,” said Emily Messa, associate vice chancellor and associate vice president for Administration at the University of Houston. “That’s why we will plan to convert additional Market stores on campus to this technology in the coming year.”

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