A lady looks at the technical specifications of the IRL system. Image via Walmart

Walmart’s AI concept store gives us a peek into the grocery store of the future

Walmart added AI features to one of its store in Levittown, NY. The company said the new system would free up more time for their employees to help the customers. However, this would allow Walmart stores to operate with fewer employees in the future.

There are AI-enabled cameras above almost all the products in the new concept store. Image via Walmart
There are AI-enabled cameras above almost all the products in the new concept store. Image via Walmart

Walmart calls its new experiment the Intelligence Retail Lab. The 50,000 square-feet store is dressed to the teeth with AI technology.

The system can monitor 30,000 product and how long each product has stayed on the shelf, when the stock runs low, and even predict how much a particular item would be in high demand.

Instead constantly walking around the store to check, employees know when and how much product they needed to stock.

The AI system will send notifications through an internal app to remind them to restock the shelves.

“Customers can be confident about products being there, about the freshness of produce and meat. Those are the types of things that AI can really help with,” says Mike Hanrahan, CEO of IRL.

The store uses AI cameras and an in-store data center that can distinguish between a two-pound chicken thigh and chicken breast package.

A lady looks at the technical specifications of the IRL system. Image via Walmart
A lady looks at the technical specifications of the IRL system. Image via Walmart

Walmart hopes with less staff dedicated to shelf stocking, and inventory management, the store could free up more resources to help customers and keep the checkout lines short.

A customer checks out her items at the cashier. Image via Walmart

So far, Walmart does not have plans to make significant updates to its check out system.

A customer scrolling through the help screens at the Welcome Center. Image via Walmart
A customer scrolling through the help screens at the Welcome Center. Image via Walmart

Walmart also set up a welcome center to answer customer questions about the technology.

A kid lifts his feet high up in front of the AI interactive wall. Image via Walmart
A kid lifts his feet high up in front of the AI interactive wall. Image via Walmart

The store set up an interactive wall demonstrating how an AI system works. Customers can stand in front of the wall and the AI system will recreate a silhouette of their movements.

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