Instacart announced that it's acquiring Caper AI, a developer of smart grocery carts and checkout counters, for $350M in cash and shares. Caper's technology uses computer vision and other AI to identify and scan items and ring them up without a cashier, similar to Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology.
- Its shopping cart identifies grocery items as they are added using cameras and an algorithm trained on 20 million images.
- Its second product, a smart counter, scan items without a barcode and continuously add images of items it doesn't recognize to a database.
- Instacart says the acquisition will help retailers "unify in-store and online shopping [flows] for customers."
- It plans to integrate Caper's technology into its own websites and apps and those of retail partners. This will enable customers to browse recipes and build online shopping lists, it said.