The store of the future opened to explore possibilities of artificial intelligence in retail.
Walmart, the largest US food retailer, has introduced a new intelligent retail laboratory (Intelligent Retail Lab - IRL), demonstrating the capabilities of the future in retail. An innovative store located on New York's Long Island has been transformed by introducing artificial intelligence-enabled cameras, interactive displays, and a large-scale data center installed right on the sales floor.
The area of the new retail space is about 50 000 sq. feet (4650 sq. meters) and the store has more than 30,000 items for testing innovative ideas in retail.
Installed in the store, IRL collects information using hundreds of sensors, cameras, and processors in a single system. Cables connect the equipment, five times longer than the height of Everest and capable of processing information equivalent to 27,000 hours of music every second.
The program monitors the availability of goods on the shelves of the store; AI works in the area of the most effective maintenance of the freshness of products in the showcases. The combination of cameras and analytical data is also capable of sending notifications to the partners of the store about the necessary inventory replenishment. Thus, store employees are exempt from the need to check the goods on the shelves, and the products needed for customers are always available, told Walmart's representative.
The company noted that the cameras installed in the store would not work to recognize the faces of customers, as well as save data on customers' buying habits. Today, in the Walmart retail lab, new technologies are being tested by about 100 employees of the company. Informational displays are installed on the shop floor for buyers, allowing them to become more familiar with the technologies used.