Skip to Content
Uncategorized

The Machines of Walmart Have Had a Banner Year

December 21, 2017

It has been Walmart’s year of emerging technologies, and so far, it seems to be paying off.

In 2017, shelf-scanning robots began patrolling the retail giant’s aisles, VR was used for employee training and tested for digital shopping, and Walmart partnered with Google to use AI to bolster online shopping. 

As if that weren’t enough, Recode reported Wednesday that the company is now developing a cashier-less store—sound like anyone we know? (Cough, “Amazon’s Grocery Store Doesn’t Have a Single Checkout,” cough). Referred to as Project Kepler, the technology to create the store is being developed through its startup incubator, Store No. 8.

Investors, at least, seem quite happy with the focus on technological innovation, as Walmart’s shares jumped to an all time high last month after third quarter earnings were published last month.

Of course, the past year has been kind to Amazon and the corporate world in general, so it’s difficult to say whether Walmart’s happy returns are the result of its investments in cutting-edge technology. Many of the moves are, after all, meant to pay dividends down the road, rather than in the short term. The raft of whizz-bang announcements certainly attracted its fair share of headlines, though—so in 2018, it’ll be interesting to see if the company for which the term “big box store” was basically invented has truly pulled off a technological transformation.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

stock art of market data
stock art of market data

Maximize business value with data-driven strategies

Every organization is now collecting data, but few are truly data driven. Here are five ways data can transform your business.

Mifiprex pill
Mifiprex pill

Where to get abortion pills and how to use them

New US restrictions could turn abortion into do-it-yourself medicine, but there might be legal risks.

image of library due date card on fire over black background
image of library due date card on fire over black background

The book ban movement has a chilling new tactic: harassing teachers on social media

Educators who stand up to conservative activists are being harassed and called “groomers” online, turning them into potential targets for real-world violence.

two images made by DALL-E 2
two images made by DALL-E 2

OpenAI is ready to sell DALL-E to its first million customers

But the company has had to rush out fixes to the image-making model’s worst flaws to do so.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.