Venue managers at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, are rolling out two fully autonomous food stands in an effort to improve the fan experience. The American Airlines Center is the home arena of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and also hosts a range of concerts and other events throughout the year.
The new Market To-Go shops will offer a range of prepared and prepackaged goods, up to and including alcoholic beverages. One shop is now open on the Center’s terrace Level, while the second is slated to open in the Main Concourse sometime later in the month.
Both shops will allow fans to pick up food and walk out without needing to stop at a traditional checkout counter. Instead, the stores have been outfitted with computer vision cameras that track everything that a customer takes off the shelves during their shopping session. That system is linked to a mobile checkout app, so when the customer is finished shopping, they can tap their phone at a payment terminal once to purchase everything they picked up without needing to scan each item individually.
The project is a collaboration between Standard AI, SpotOn, and Levy, with Standard AI providing the autonomous retail tech and SpotOn providing the mobile payment component. Levy, meanwhile, is the American Airline Center’s hospitality partner, and is responsible for installing and overseeing the project at the venue itself. Levy’s DBK innovation studio is also participating in the endeavor.
While the system does use smart cameras, the developers stressed that it does not use facial recognition. That sets it apart from other frictionless payment and customer screening systems that have cropped up in the past few months. For example, New York’s Citi Field recently announced that it would be using facial recognition to check people’s tickets, while PopID has teamed up with Visa to bring its face-based PopPay system from California to the Middle East.
Some face-based payment systems have received some pushback due to privacy concerns with facial recognition.