One Of The First AI Walmart Stores In Human Being History!
Recently, the largest US supermarket chain presented what it calls the “store of the future.” A large supermarket based in Levittown, New York, uses dozens of advanced technologies. Including – interactive displays and cameras connected to the artificial intelligence system. Hundreds of millions of dollars – for the sake of buyers never faced with a stale product.
New test supermarket company calls Intelligent Retail Lab (abbreviated – IRL). Here is a very rich assortment: IRL sells 30,000 products. Space is also quite large: 4,500 square meters, much larger than the average supermarket. At the same time, only 100 employees work in such a mall (cashiers, security guards, and shelves). This is one of the main advantages of IRL: the human factor is minimal here.
- Same as the “Amazon Go Cashless“, the store is littered with a mass of cameras mounted into the ceiling. But the area here is ten times larger, and the tasks of the store are different. AI in the cameras is not configured to identify the goods that buyers take in their hands, but to track stocks of goods on the shelves. The store sees it scatter like pies today, and can give a signal to send a person to fill a shelf. Also, artificial intelligence takes into account the shelf life of goods and remembers how long he saw one or another object sitting on the shelf. When the shelf life of the product comes to an end – again, the system lets employees know. And IRL can do this even for meat and vegetables, the shelf life of which is not prescribed for them.
As a result, even a few dozen employees, receiving instructions from the AI, can maintain the entire huge supermarket in perfect condition. They always know which shelf to go to. Customers, according to Walmart, will appreciate the fact that the products are always fresh here, plus people can pay significantly less. The company assures that it is also a great solution for its workforce: instead of constantly being on its feet, running between the shelves and checking what is missing, now they will know in advance what they need to carry.
Machine vision in IRL can do everything the same as in Amazon Go. The computer sees that the product is on the shelf, distinguishes its quantity, checks the speed with which it leaves, makes projections (is it enough for the rest of the day?). Cameras and other store sensors generate 1.6 TB of data per second. To analyze this amount of information, in the same room is a data center with 100 servers. It is protected by glass, highlighted in blue and exposed to the public.
To avoid accusations of violating the privacy of customers, Walmart says, all video accumulated by cameras is deleted after a week, and the system does not see any people at all (instead of them – a blur).
The store also tests a host of other technologies. Information terminals at the shelves help customers find out about the products they buy here (where they are released, what they contain, what recipes they use. At the entrance to the store, there are pedestals where you can read about the features of IRL and get answers to many common questions. There is an interactive wall that shows your “shadow” when you walk past it (in fact, it’s an AI that reads your camera image and predicts where you will go next.) And the floor in the room is washed by special cleaning robots, also with the support of artificial intelligence.
Walmart’s top-management has for several years been trying to surpass (or at least catch up) Amazon in everything. Previously, they reworked their entire online store – and now in the last year, it has become the third most popular in the States, after Amazon and eBay (and we also see that from Russia through us they began to order more often, it is already in the top 5 ). In India, interrupting the Amazon bid, Walmart paid $ 15 billion for Flipkart last year. Instead, AWS signed a contract with Microsoft Azure. And nowhere, instead of Amazon Go, they are trying to implement IRL stores.
The success of the first test sample will determine whether they will open the same supermarkets in other cities and states. Walmart first checks the willingness of customers to such new technologies. If the IRL with its screens, cameras and the ubiquitous AI scares away moms and grandmothers with carts and shows sales lower than the same store six months before, Walmart will send its efforts and money to another place – good, ideas in its technology incubator 8) enough.
Mike Hanrahan, CEO of IRL stores, in his responses to journalists gives secretive approach Bezos and his Amazon Go, talking about their excessive ambition: