SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Yonhap) -- Hanwha Techwin Co., a major surveillance tech firm in South Korea, said Thursday it will start into the clerkless store solution business with its auto checkout (ACO) machine as the company expands its business portfolio amid the pandemic-induced non-contact trend.
Hanwha Techwin said it decided to enter the unmanned store solutions market as many retailers opt to open cashier-free shops for 24-hour operation while there is a need to improve consumer convenience in the checkout process at stores.
"It can create a synergy with our mainstay video surveillance solutions business," the company said. "Since this is a market with a high growth potential, we will develop related technologies and expand the business."
Citing an industry report, Hanwha Techwin said the global self-service checkout machine market is estimated at US$3.5 billion and is expected to grow an average 9 percent annually for the next three years.
In South Korea, more than 100,000 automated self-service machines are estimated to be at retail stores.
The affiliate of Hanwha Aerospace said its ACO machine is easier to use compared to self checkout (SCO) machines installed at cashierless stores.
While people have to manually tag a barcode of a product at an SCO machine, the company's ACO machine can automatically scan a barcode of a product with various sensors and cameras when users put items on a conveyor belt, according to the company.
To boost its competitiveness in the sector, Hanwha Techwin said it signed a partnership with Cognex Corp., a U.S.-based machine vision systems and sensors developer.
Under the deal, the two sides will join hands to develop various technologies for clerkless stores and establish global sales channels.