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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Wal-Mart AI Store of the Future Opens to Public

Good to see this, and new competition with Amazon in brick and mortar.  Look forward to learning about other technical details.  How about their Fresh Block chain?  More for now at the link.

Walmart unveils an A.I.-powered store of the future, now open to the public   By Sarah Perez@sarahintampa in TechCrunch

Walmart this morning unveiled a new “store of the future” and test grounds for emerging technologies, including A.I.-enabled cameras and interactive displays. The store, a working concept called the Intelligent Retail Lab — or “IRL” for short — operates out of a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, New York.

The store is open to customers and is one of Walmart’s busiest Neighborhood Market stores containing over 30,000 items, the retailer says, which allows it to test out technology in a real world environment.

Similar to Amazon Go’s convenience stores, the store has a suite of cameras mounted in the ceiling. But unlike Amazon Go, which is a grab-and-go store with smaller square footage, Walmart’s IRL spans 50,000 square feet of retail space and is staffed by over 100 employees.

Plus, in Walmart’s case, these A.I.-powered cameras are not being used to determine what items customers are buying in order to automatically charge them. It still has traditional checkout stations. Instead, the cameras will monitor inventory levels to determine, for example, if staff needs to bring out more meat from the backroom refrigerators to restock the shelves, or if some fresh items have been sitting too long on the shelf and need to be pulled. ... " 

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