Evolution of AI in the POS Market

Thanks to science fiction literature and film, by the mid-20th century, the concept of artificial intelligence had taken root in the world’s imagination and set scientists and mathematicians on the course to making AI a reality. In 1950, Alan Turing introduced the Turing Test in his paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.” Six years later, a Dartmouth conference coined the term “artificial intelligence” and launched the field of AI. From there, the AI field experienced a tumultuous road of advancement and setbacks, but progress ultimately prevailed. In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue computer program beat chess champion Gary Kasparov in a publicized match. In 2011, Apple introduced Siri to the iPhone 4S.  

That’s a very brief summary of major events in AI’s long history, but where is AI heading now? And how is it relevant to POS? 

Artificial intelligence has become huge in the point of sale market, with the ability to instantly handle all kinds of payment methods: online payments, mobile app payments, chat payments, social app payments, and, of course, in-store payments. But as AI evolves, so will POS;  

The future of the POS market is contingent on this technology.  

Today, AI can handle the complex scheduling tasks that were once time-consuming and overwhelming, freeing up time for restaurant operators and increasing productivity. AI in POS systems eliminates losses by accurately tracking inventory and ordering based on sales and up-to-date supply levels. Self-ordering options like kiosks and online ordering have been proven to shorten lines, reduce wait times, and increase sales. AI-powered POS systems can provide insights on the changing behavior of customers and recommend which customers to re-engage with. It can also detect trends in products and sales, offering promotion and adjusted pricing suggestions.  

AI capabilities in the restaurant and retail space are only expanding, and all these elements will continue to improve with time. But what are the next big steps for AI in the POS market?

Facial Recognition: A close next step is facial recognition software in self-ordering kiosks. The future holds promise for facial recognition AI that can identify age, gender, and other aspects that may affect what an individual would order at a specific moment. Facial recognition can remember a specific person through their profile, remember their recent orders, and make specific suggestions, improving sales and providing a more personalized experience.  

Voice Ordering: Nearly half of Americans were using digital voice assistance on their smartphones by 2017, and that number is only rising. Voice assistant ordering is already a reality with Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home. However, this same technology will enter the retail and restaurant space soon with voice-ordering kiosks and conversational AI.  

This ever-improving technology is an exciting opportunity for the restaurant and retail space. In a survey by Adobe, 31% of businesses said they plan to implement AI in the next 12 months. In order to stay ahead of the competition and create the most efficient and optimal customer experience, merchants must stay on top of the trends and track the evolution of AI-powered POS technology.