Walmart just unveiled their new store of the future which has tested the grounds for emerging technologies which includes AI-enabled cameras and interactive displays.
This store is a working concept called the Intelligent Retail Lab which operates out of a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, N.Y. With over 30,000 items, this Neighborhood Market store is one of the busiest which allows the company to test out their technology in a real-world environment.
Similar to Amazon Go’s convenience stores, the store has cameras mounted in the ceiling. Unlike Amazon Go, which is a grab-and-go store with smaller square footage, Walmart’s space spans 50,000 square feet and is staffed by more than 100 employees.
In this case, Walmart doesn’t use the AI-powered camera to determine which items customers are buying in order to automatically charge them. Instead, the cameras monitor inventory levels to determine if the staff needs to bring out more meat from the back-room refrigerators to restock the shelves, or if some fresh items have been sitting too long on the shelf and need to be pulled.
The cameras and other sensors in the store develop 1.6 TB of data per second, or the equivalent of three year’s worth of music. Walmart actually has their AI cameras and servers on display for the public to see. There are also informational stations in the store where customers can learn more about the technology in use.