HelpCenter

PicoCooler Breeze - Introduction to Evermart System
Updated

Key Terms

  • CDU: Control Data Unit. This is the Evermart computer.
  • Cooler: Hardware for stocking snacks, drinks, etc.
  • Eventor: Provider of the Evermart hardware and Evermart Config app.
  • Evermart: The hardware provided by Eventor that works with the Pico device to allow the system to detect what is being removed from the shelf without having to scan the item.
  • Evermart Config Application: The mobile app provided by Eventor. This app allows the operator to view/edit the planogram and restock.
  • IGD: Internal Graphic Display. This is the small display that gets mounted to a shelf inside the cooler. The IGD has a display screen and barcode scanner. This is used when creating a planogram or restocking. This will also display a message if a consumer places a product back in the wrong spot.
  • MinusForty: Provider of the cooler.
  • PicoCooler Breeze: The PicoCooler Breeze is the small point-of-sale hardware device that works with an Evermart device to allow the system to detect what product(s) was removed and charge the customer accordingly, without scanning.
  • Self-Provision: Operators will self-provision the PicoCooler device. In this process, they will set the device to an organization, location, set the product list, activate the MID on the Pico device (for credit card usage), etc.

 

Overview

With the PicoCooler Breeze, Evermart hardware (provided by Eventor) is used for product detection. When designing the Evermart system, Eventor's main focus was on safe and easy shopping resulting in a better customer experience, combined with ease of operation by the drivers/restockers. In cooperation with Compass/Canteen USA, we have considered various processes and situations, coming to a conclusion on how the system should operate initially. While some limitations apply, we will further develop the system by adding sensors in an effort to provide higher customer freedom while keeping Evermart as cost-effective as possible. This guide serves as an overview of the system. 

To learn more about the Picoplatform, please see our Master Article on the PicoPlatform. 

 

Evermart System

The Evermart kit consists of the following:

mceclip0.png

  • The CDU has the product identification framework (Evermart Framework).
  • MinusForty installs most hardware prior to shipping the device. The operator will need to install the IGD, speakers, and Pico once they receive their shipments.
  • After MinusForty finishes installing hardware, they confirm the IGD and CDU are working, calibrate the shelves, and verify shelves are working prior to shipping the cooler to the customer.

 

Evermart Framework

The Evermart Framework identifies products, categorizes them, and completes the customers’ shopping process in a sensor-equipped environment. All sensors are processed by the Evermart Framework locally. By implementing platform-optimized AI algorithms, Evermart is a flexible system, and the number and types of sensors may vary. Since data is processed locally in the Evermart Framework, data exchange between the framework and a server remains within reasonable limits. Consequently, there is no need for a high-speed broadband data connection for a seamless customer experience. The data connection is used mainly for technical supervision. Due to the local integration with the Pico unit, the Evermart Framework can even work offline.

 

Training the AI

The platform-optimized AI algorithms do not require special teaching processes as these work on information collected automatically during the restocking of inventory and product sales. Initially, the Evermart Framework only requires a list of product types sold. The PicoCooler Breeze - Operator Guide will detail steps on adding/changing products in the system.

 

Product Recognition

The layout of the inventory in a cooler is defined by a planogram. The planogram will allow drivers to see where products go when restocking, and will allow the system to alert the consumer if a product is put into the wrong place when they are putting an item back.

Each item needs to have a standard EAN or UPC barcode in order to be used in the planogram. The products must be in the Global Product list in ADM and extended to the location in order for the Evermart system to recognize the products. The Evermart system will receive the product details from ADM, including but not limited to price and name (such as Coca-Cola Zero 12 oz). If product information needs to be updated or a product needs to be added to the back-end of the system before stocking, this would be done via ADM (see ADM - Add, Edit, or Extend a Product).

 

Operational Modes

The Evermart Framework can operate in shopping mode or in restocking mode. This guide will explain how the shopping mode operates, the consumer experience, and the restocking mode functionality.

 

Shopping

The shopping protocol is built around an evolutionary methodology. In most situations, the recognition is prompt and accurate, but in case of any uncertainty, the IGD will display visual cues and the speakers will play audio cues to assist the customer with their transaction/correcting the issue.

 

The PicoCooler Breeze can ONLY function as a locked cooler solution. Payment authorization is required in order to unlock the cooler. Products picked from shelves are placed into a virtual cart and their name and price appear on the built-in display. Five seconds after the door is closed, the virtual basket is closed out and the transaction is complete. The transaction will be charged to the purchase method used to unlock the cooler (debit/credit/account). It is important to note that products must be taken out of the cooler one at a time, and the consumer should wait for visual/audio feedback to confirm the product was recognized (see Consumer Checkout Flow).

 

If a cooler goes outside of its specified temperature range or a foreign/corrupted item is added to the cooler, the cooler will enter a Health Safety Lockout. (The temperature range is set on the cooler itself - for instructions on setting the temp range of the cooler, contact MinusForty at (800) 800-5706.) When the cooler is in Health Safety Lockout mode, the cooler will not unlock until a driver comes on-site to verify the products and overrides the lockout, if applicable. See PicoCooler Health Safety Timer Lockout & Override for further information.

 

Product movements usually consist of putting them into the cabinet or removing them. Every product movement results in a log event which can be analyzed later on by Eventor if necessary. The shopping protocol is categorized into three use-cases based on product types and quantities taken:

  • individual products
  • multiple products
  • foreign or corrupted products

Although in most cases multiple product movements are recognized correctly, there can be situations not handled correctly resulting in the inconsistency of inventory. If multiple product movements were detected but the system didn't recognize each product taken in order to add them to the cart, the customer is kindly asked to scan all products taken on the IGD's scanner via visual and audio cues. Situations where the cabinet will request cooperation from the consumer to resolve the issue include the following:

  • multiple products grabbed at once
  • putting a product back to the wrong place (wrong shelf)
  • product is placed back without scanning when the IGD prompted the consumer to do so
  • putting an unknown (foreign or corrupted) product into the cabinet

If the consumer does not follow the cues given, there are three things that could occur depending on the operator's configurations. The present system can be set into different operational modes:

  • Moderate: In this case, the system will take the most expensive product from
    the inventory and add that value to the cart as a penalty for not following the audio/visual cues to resolve their issue.
  • Penalty: The system will add a preset value to the cart as a penalty for not following the audio/visual cues to resolve their issue.
  • Don’t care: There is no sanction for the customer if not cooperating in clarifying
    the situation. However, if no penalty is set, this may result in corrupted inventory. With corrupted inventory, the cabinet may suspend its operation till a restocker visits it.

In all cases, the customer is offered to take action to resolve their issue (for example, scanning all products to help in clarifying the situation). But in case of no compliance, the cabinet will act
according to the preset mode mentioned above.

 

Consumer Checkout Flow

  1. The PicoCooler Breeze can only use a locked solution for the cooler. Consumers will need to unlock the cooler using one of these methods:
    • Scan account QR code from 365Pay app
    • On-Screen Email and PIN input
    • Insert/tap a credit/debit card
    • Scan a scanner ID card

  2. The consumer can then select as many items as needed from the cooler, picking one item off the shelf at a time. 

  3. The IGD will display the product name when it detects the product has been removed from the cooler and the Pico will automatically recognize the products that were just removed and put them in the consumer's cart on the Pico. Audio cues will also play from the speakers during this process.

  4. The checkout is automatic and the process is triggered when the door is closed and left closed for 5 seconds. The transaction will be charged to the payment method used to unlock the cooler.

 

Differences Between PicoCooler and PicoCooler Breeze Consumer Flow

  • The most important difference between the PicoCooler Breeze and the regular PicoCooler is the PicoCooler Breeze is enabled with automatic product recognition. This means there is no need to scan the items on the Pico device.
    • In fringe cases, when the barcodes DO need to be scanned, they are scanned on the internal barcode scanner on the IGD.
  • The cabinet is equipped with audio cues and an internal display (IGD), both of which help with a smoother shopping experience.
    • Audio Cues: The speakers are installed on top of the cooler during setup. The speakers give audio cues, such as letting the consumer know they placed an item back in the incorrect spot. The audio cues allow customers to be trained and get acquainted with PicoCooler Breeze. Additionally, there is a built-in beeper in the IGD. The beeper is similar to the beeper used in cash registers for scanning feedback. It emits different beeps on successful and failed actions. These actions include the recognition of products taken from shelves or putting them back. Explanatory messages are also displayed on the built-in display (IGD). Customers should pay attention and wait for these beeps to be sure that the actual action happened as expected.
    • Visual Cues: During shopping, feedback is provided to the customer or stocker via the built-in display (IGD - Internal Graphic Display). Audio cues will also be given (see the previous bullet point).
  • The checkout is automatic and the process is triggered when the door is closed and left closed for 5 seconds.

 

Scenarios

Product movements usually consist of putting them into the cabinet or removing them. Every product movement results in a log event which can be analyzed later on by Eventor if necessary. The shopping protocol is categorized into three use-cases based on product types and quantities taken:

  • individual products
  • multiple products
  • foreign or corrupted products

See the sections below for more information on each.

 

Individual Product Movements

  • mceclip1.png
  • mceclip2.png
  • mceclip3.png
  • mceclip4.png
  • mceclip5.png
  • mceclip6.png
  • mceclip7.png
  • mceclip8.png
  • mceclip9.png
  • mceclip10.png
  • mceclip11.png

 

Multiple Product Movements

As mentioned before, in most cases multiple product movements are recognized correctly but there can be situations not handled correctly resulting in the inconsistency of inventory. Therefore we handle all multiple product movements the same way - using audio and visual cues to have the consumer correct the issue. The cues ask the consumer to scan all products taken. The system should provide feedback when a product is recognized. If the location has a penalty fee setup for not putting products back properly, a consumer may be charged if they do not follow the cues.

  • mceclip12.png
  • mceclip13.png
  • mceclip14.png

 

Foreign or Corrupted Products

  • mceclip15.png
  • mceclip16.png

 

Restocking

In the restocking phase, an authorized person should fill up the cooler/cabinet’s stock with products. It is usually done against a planogram that specifies the position of each product. There are no technical limitations on product types and their position in the cabinet. However, according to operational conventions, similar products are grouped together in one row or in a certain area (called a container). This is achieved with fronting devices (pushers), or product dividers. Evermart cabinet shelves can be configured either way. Fronting pushes all products up the front of the compartment so that there is always one product visible at the front of the shelf (as long as there are products in the section). Dividers only separate product types to achieve a tidy and neat, organized space and shopping experience. Evermart Framework does not require a planogram to be built on the back-end ahead of time, this can be done when the operator arrives on-site. See PicoCooler Breeze - Operator Guide for more information on the operator's restocking process.

 

Restocking Use-Cases

See the PicoCooler Breeze - Operator Guide for more information on the operator's restocking process. The sections below will give an overview of a few restocking use cases.

 

Putting a product into the right position after scanning

The position is defined by the planogram of shelves. Only the first product has to be scanned for a product type the rest can be inserted without scanning. Of course, any additional scanning from the same type will do no harm. Switching to a new type (i.e. stocking Coke and then stocking Sprite) is as simple as scanning the barcode of a product from that type.


Putting the first product in after opening the door without scanning

The system will alert the restocker to remove the product and scan it on the IGD first. Until that is done, the product will be marked as unknown.

Once it is removed and scanned, it can be placed into any position according to the planogram of the cabinet.


Putting a product in the wrong position after scanning

Doing this will result in an alert to remove the product and place it in the right position.


Removing products one by one

This is the right way to empty the inventory without having to use any additional devices or systems. During the removal of products, these products are removed from the inventory. It is possible to have all products removed in batches to clear shelves, but the cabinet needs to be informed about it to act according to that procedure. That means some additional equipment is needed to communicate with the cabinet.