According to Recode, Walmart’s startup incubator is experimenting with a cashier-less store concept called Project Kepler, which “aims to reimagine the in-store shopping experience with the help of technologies like computer vision.” The goal is reportedly the “creation of physical stores that would operate without checkout lines or cashiers — in a similar fashion to Amazon’s futuristic Amazon Go store.” From the report: The Project Kepler project focused on the future of in-store shopping is being led by Mike Hanrahan, the co-founder and former chief technology officer for Jet.com, multiple sources tell Recode. It is located in Hoboken, N.J., where Jet is based. A Project Kepler job listing for a “computer vision engineer” says that the role will involve creating a “best-in-class consumer experience in the physical retail space.” Amazon’s Go concept uses a combination of sensors and cameras to track what each store shopper takes off of shelves so it can automatically bill them for their purchase without their having to stop to pay on the way out. The store’s launch has been severely delayed, however, with reports that the technology did not work well when the store was crowded. Walmart is envisioning a similar system that would potentially eliminate the need for cashiers in stores outfitted with the technology. Walmart has more than two million employees worldwide, many of whom work at checkout.
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