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Now on BBC News, it is time to Click.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the self checkout.
The first one was installed in New York on 5 August,
So what does its inventor, Doctor Howard Schneider,
I hadn't gone shopping much, so I went to the supermarket
And I started looking at people checking out, and my stopwatch
went "Click, click" - it was a mechanical one.
And, you know, I said wow, what a great environment.
and I said, this would be a great, great problem to solve.
And then I started building a machine in my garage.
I actually spent every cent I had on parts,
and I got the first machines built.
See, I love self-service checkouts, but then I'm a control freak.
Until they go wrong, at which point they become a right
The technology in the machines now is less than it was 25 years ago,
using 286 computers, using MS-DOS 3.3.
I had better technology 25 years ago than what you see now,
which is the reason for a lot of frustrations.
Please remove item before continuing.
So now people are thinking outside of the shopping basket,
to try and update the self checkout
In Japan, Reggie Robo takes your basket and bags your
The system, which was trialled at the beginning of the year,
scans the RFID tags on all the items at the same time.
Since December, the Amazon Go shop has been undergoing
Once it is working, shoppers should be able to pick up their items
Swedish cafe company Wheelys is working on a similar idea.
Although this staff-less shop will even come to you.
Here at Canary Wharf, in London, something less spectacular,
but which seems to me more workable and more scalable.
Grab and Go has been invented by Barclaycard.
The app scans bar codes as you grab items off the shelf,
Payment is taken from the card that is linked to the app,
and the receipt is sent to the phone, so you don't have
But, with all that grabbing and going, are you thinking
In the future, if you're scanning things and then just putting it
in your bag, and then just walking out,
I can see more people stealing more stuff.
So you can basically very easily pick up some item and then can walk
out, but on the way you have CCTV, you have a man on the ground
So it's no more secure than a self-scan checkout,
but I do wonder how many people would just accidentally miss
that barcode, and leave
Although, even here, technology might be able
Supermarket giant Walmart has filed a patent to incorporate facial
recognition, blood pressure and heart rate monitoring
into its stores to try and understand customer
It might improve customer service, but previous trials of the tech have
been used to try to spot shoplifters, raising a few security
In fact, just this week, the supermarket announced it is also
trialling a scan-and-go solution, but this one relies on shop
assistant approval before you can leave.
In China, which is home to several unmanned stores like this one,
you need your face to get in the front door in the first place.
Like Barclaycard's Grab and Go, customers scan items
using their phones, and they can even heat up their grub
Speaking of heating things up, a similar Chinese idea,
Bingo Box, ran into problems when one of its glass clad stores
Now, as it was unmanned, it wasn't until customers began
to complain that the sweltering temperatures
were ruining the food inside that the shop was shut down.
It is now back up and running, and everything is cool.
So it's not all plain sailing for these souped-up shops,
and it will be a while before we buy our weekly groceries
in the store without some form of human
But, as our patience wears increasingly thin in this age
of grabbing and going, it's no surprise that Bingo Box
plans to open 5,000 more stores in the coming year.
Premier League football starts again this weekend,
which I'm reliably informed is important to some people.
Seriously, though, fans will be excited to see what their club's
But how do you know if a new player is going to be right for your team?
Well, one company is using virtual reality to identify talent,
and also help players to recover
I'm in Manchester, home of great football, to check out a small
start-up that is joining up with Premier League clubs
for an idea that's only eight months in the making.
This VR system helps scouts recruit players by using statistics
from virtual gameplay to decide whether or not the player would work
But it separately is also being used to help injured players get back
to full fitness, mentally and physically.
You have injured players who will often spend anything
from six months to ten months, years out of the game.
And the scientists, the physios will work with them,
but we do not know what they're going to do in a situation,
what decisions they're going to make.
Now, they can play games, as well as having the treatment,
the movement is limited, but they can feel a part
They are using an HTC5 headset, with the usual hand controllers
And the kit is wireless, crucial for football drills.
As well as this version, they are also working on one
for goalies, which will require an extra pair of sensors.
Several Premier League clubs are signing up to use the VR system,
because it promises to bring players back from the bench faster.
And the first question they ask - does it feel like a real ball?
You do feel like you're really hitting the ball,
I don't know if't is the sound, or the visuals, but it is very
And I know people always use that word for VR,
but it does feel as though you are hitting it.
And because you are not, it's important players don't try too
hard, and injure themselves even more, especially when they've cost
Part of the problem is to make sure that they are not hyper extending.
We had a player last week who is not allowed to kick a physical ball. He
is fit and can probably run a marathon, but the injury means he
can't do it. It is basically a case of I feel like I am keeping a ball,
psychologically it is massive. I am now in the rehab drill
and there is a man to my left Now, I cannot do that,
because my balance on these prosthetics just is not
there, sorry, physios! But I can see how that would be very
useful for injured players, but not just injured
players, in hospitals. Players will complete a set
of exercises and drills which will be scored,
and their fitness can then be Elsewhere in the sport
world, American football STRIVR there is a company out
of Stanford University, currently working with seven NFL
teams to allow players to practice anytime, anywhere,
without the same physical tolls. And in the Netherlands,
another VR company, Beyond Sports, has a contract with both Arsenal
and Stoke City for match analysis But, back in the UK,
a man who won Premier League titles as a player
and coach with Manchester United thinks the new technology
could really help. I think it benefits both amateur,
professional and grassroots. You can put pressure
into the situation. Football, possibly, have had
a reluctance to use it, But the kit they are
offering is not cheap, with packages starting at ?5,000,
and increasing to more But the potential benefits of VR
to the football clubs that can Coaches want to train and test
footballers in the most effective way, by recreating the pressure
and intensity of performing So what would the manager
with the most Premier League titles under his belt, Sir Alex
Ferguson, think about it? Do you think Fergie would
have been up for it? He was open to all
that sort of stuff, as long as it made
a bit of a difference. Or sometimes it's what people like,
you know, players like it. Top clubs are big businesses,
and the money in football is only And, as it does, teams will be
looking for any way to improve. As you watch your team this weekend,
remember that last-minute winner or fingertip save might be
the result of some hard hours spent And that is it for the shortcut of
Click this week. The full version is waiting for you on iPlayer. Over the
next couple of weeks we are going to give you the chance to re- watch two
of our favourite shows from the year so far, the two Indian specials.
We'll be travelling across the country, to meet
the people working hard to change lives, save lives,
I hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them.
Do not forget we are on Twitter and on Facebook.
Thank you for watching, and we'll see you soon.