Walmart Shows off "Store of the Future"
We'll see how this turns out.
April 25, 2019
Walmart joined Amazon in the quest to have stores powered by artificial intelligence. Unlike Amazon Go, Walmart's initial store — called the Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL) — is much, much bigger and has a different focus.
The store has more cameras mounted on the ceiling than the White House (that's not an actual fact, but they do have a lot of damn cameras), and these cameras are intended to monitor inventory levels and alert employees when it's time to restock or remove an outdated item.
IRL still has traditional checkout stations with human cashiers and staff members on the floor, so no jobs are being replaced, Walmart insists. Considering that there are always 100 lanes in a Walmart with only 3 ever open, this isn't saying too much.
The goal of these AI-based stores is to help employee's do their job more efficiently.