Walmart Uses AI-Powered Devices To Detect Potential Theft

Sundar Pichai - Jul 10, 2019

Walmart Uses AI-Powered Devices To Detect Potential Theft

Walmart is deploying computer vision technology to monitor checkouts and deter potential theft in more than 1,000 of its stores.

Walmart is widely known as one of the most active investors within global retailers who makes use of modern technologies like AI or Robotics. To boost business performance or minimize manufacturing costs, Walmart doesn’t mind putting millions of dollars into automatic systems for their warehouses. Recently, the retailer announced its plan to equip all of the stores with AI detected cameras, to prevent shrinkage.

Walmart announced its plan to equip all of the stores with AI thieves detected cameras.

The devices are initially supplied to Walmart by an Ireland-based company called Everseen. Known internally as "Missed Scan Detection", it is responsible for identifying errors and failures in checkout scanning process at Walmart’s stores. There are incidents that the cashiers accidentally miss scanning an item, or someone tries to steal from the stores. The camera or the surveillance program helps to immediately notify checkout attendants upon detecting the problems. To provide it with that ability, Everseen takes advantage of some smart technologies that they call state-of-the-art technologies including computer vision systems, artificial intelligence, and big data.

The camera is called internally as "Missed Scan Detection."

It is not sure how powerful ‘Missed Scan Detection’ is, but Everseen said it had been using by 10 big retailers across the world. The company further described its technology as digitizing checkout surveillance.

How shrinkage affects the retail industry

Statistics show that shrinkage, defined as losses due to theft, fraud or scanning errors, caused US retailers $47 million loss in revenues in 2017. With Walmart only, they might have lost around $4 billion in 2018 due to theft and other related actions.

Walmart lost around $4 billion in 2018 due to theft.

To deal with safety problems, the company is making lots of investments, mostly in human resource and technology.


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