PITTSBURGH – August 3, 2023 – The University of Pittsburgh today announced a collaboration with Transact Campus “Transact” and Chartwell’s Higher Education to bring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology to its Pittsburgh campus. The Market at Towers, one of the on-campus convenience stores, will install Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology – allowing guests a fast and frictionless way to shop.
“As one of the first universities in the United States to integrate Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology into its on-campus retail environment, Pitt is elevating the student experience by making shopping at The Market at Towers faster, easier, and more convenient,” said Matthew Sterne, Vice Chancellor of Business Services at Pitt. “This collaboration enhances our ongoing efforts to leverage innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of our campus community."
The improved shopping experience is made possible through Pitt’s collaboration with Transact, a leader in innovative mobile credential and payment solutions for universities and colleges. Transact currently powers Pitt’s mobile ordering app that allows students, faculty, and staff to place their mobile food orders at one of the many on-campus dining locations.
Registered customers will scan their Transact Mobile Ordering app at the entrance, enter The Market, and choose their items. Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology detects what shoppers take from or return to the shelves and creates a virtual shopping session. When customers are done shopping, they simply leave the store without having to wait in line. The Transact Mobile app automatically deducts the total from the customer’s available campus funds (e.g., Dining Dollars, Panther Funds, or Pitt Cash).
“We are excited to collaborate with Pitt to introduce Amazon's Just Walk Out technology. Transact’s goal is to redefine the student experience by eliminating checkout lines and accelerating transaction speed,” said Laura Newell-McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Integrated Payments and Campus Commerce at Transact. “With the integration of Transact Mobile Ordering for store entry and payments, we’re taking significant strides in streamlining daily campus life for both students and faculty.”
Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology uses artificial intelligence such as computer vision and deep learning techniques, including generative AI, to accurately determine who took what in any retail environment. This technology is designed to eliminate checkout lines and allow customers to spend less time shopping and more time getting on with their busy lives. Just Walk Out technology allows the Market at Towers to both be staffed as usual as well as operate partially unattended, 24 hours a day. Now, students and guests can grab food, beverages, and other essentials conveniently, better fitting their academic schedules without long lines at checkout.
“We are proud to bring our Just Walk Out technology to the University of Pittsburgh,” said Jon Jenkins, Vice President of Just Walk Out technology, AWS Applications. “Students will be able to get their snacks and school supplies at all hours of the day, in a convenient, fast, and friction-less shopping experience. The University of Pittsburgh is known as a leader in adopting innovative tech, and this store reflects that.”
The new technology integration is part of Pitt’s multimillion-dollar renovation of its main dining facility, The Eatery. Together with Chartwells Higher Education, its on-campus dining partner, Pitt is transforming The Eatery into an innovative dining facility, boasting nine dining concepts and state-of-the-art integrations designed to offer Pitt students an exceptional dining experience.
“Our vision for Pitt Eats includes a robust suite of emerging technologies and industry-leading food service innovations,” said Quintin Eason, vice president of Operations at Pitt Eats. “We are proud to collaborate with Amazon as they aid in our vision of a best-in-class dining program.”
The new dining concepts will offer made-to-order menu items that include custom specialties such as handmade pasta, global culinary favorites, Halal-certified proteins, and more.
The renovation will be completed in phases to ensure that The Eatery continues to be open to serve the campus community. Dining concepts will go offline and will be reactivated in segments throughout the academic year. The entire project is slated for completion in Fall 2024. For more information on The Eatery renovation project timeline, what to expect during construction, real-time updates, teaser videos, and more, visit TheEateryAtPitt.com.
About the University of Pittsburgh
Founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh is an internationally renowned leader in health sciences learning and research. A top 10 recipient of NIH funding since 1998, Pitt has repeatedly been ranked as the best public university in the Northeast, per The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Pitt consists of a campus in Pittsburgh—home to 16 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools — and four regional campuses located throughout Western Pennsylvania. Pitt offers nearly 500 distinct degree programs; serves more than 33,000 students; employs more than 14,000 faculty and staff; and awards 9,000 degrees systemwide.
Transact is the leader in innovative payment and Mobile Credential solutions for a connected campus. Its highly configurable, mobile-centric campus technology ecosystem simplifies the student experience across the full spectrum of student life. Transact’s offerings include integrated solutions for tuition and other student expense payments, multi-purpose campus IDs, and campus commerce. With a long-standing reputation in the education community, Transact proudly serves over 12 million students across more than 1,850 client institutions. Its fintech solutions facilitate $49 billion in payments annually and have enabled more than 227 million contactless mobile wallet transactions and $342 million in mobile orders since inception. For more information, visit www.transactcampus.com.
University of Pittsburgh
Impact Partners for Transact Campus