Melbourne Rules Football Grounds First Un Southern Hemisphere To Use Frictionless Purchase Tech And Explainer Screens

April 4, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Screens that explain what to do are a central part of the plans for what would be the first use of Amazon’s checkout-free purchasing tech in the southern hemisphere, at a stadium in Melbourne that’s home to an AFL “Australian Rules” football club.

Marvel Stadium will use Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at a concession stand for food and a different one for adult beverages.

The new technology, says PR, will be available at two outlets known as ‘The Runner’—one food and beverage and one bar—in time for the early rounds of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Fans will simply use their credit or debit card, or mobile wallet payment option at entry, collect their items, and leave the store without having to wait in line to checkout. In the time it takes for a goal break, a Marvel Stadium fan will be able to get the refreshments they need without missing any of the action.

Just Walk Out technology is made possible by artificial intelligence like computer vision and deep learning techniques, including generative AI, to accurately determine who took what in any retail environment. Amazon built synthetic datasets to mimic millions of realistic shopping scenarios—including variations in store format, lighting conditions, and even crowds of shoppers—to ensure accuracy in any environment.

The technology is currently in use at sports venues across the U.S., including TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics (NBA) and Boston Bruins (NHL), and Climate Pledge Arena, home of the Seattle Kraken (NHL).

Fans purchasing alcohol will be required to show their ID to a store attendant for age verification.

The project also involve’s the venues food and beverage partner, Buffalo, NY-based Delaware North, and Aussie telco partner Telstra.

I mention this because the concept photo for the project suggests a row of menu board-like displays on the bulkhead over the concession area, which explain to fans what to do. That would be pretty critical for the first few games, or maybe first season, as people grow familiar. But you could imagine how screens could in time be used to drive usage (“Skip The Big Lines!”) and drive promoted brands or new items.

It could also do the very simple work of menus and promos that lay out what’s available and the prices.

Having watched a few rules football matches on TV, my gut tells me a lot of beer gets sold at these games.

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