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.
It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.
If they ever hit our roads for real, other drivers need to know exactly what they are.
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.
Cryptocurrency fuels new business opportunities
As adoption of digital assets accelerates, companies are investing in innovative products and services.
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.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.