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Walmart testing possibility of cashier-less stores

By
Sara Shayanian
Walmart is developing a program that could someday remove human cashiers from stores. File Photo by Ken Wolter/Shutterstock
Walmart is developing a program that could someday remove human cashiers from stores. File Photo by Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Walmart stores could soon be without cashiers or checkout lines as the company is testing the possibility of automated stores.

The project, named Project Kepler, will try to reimagine the in-store shopping experience using technologies like computer vision, Recode reported.

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The attempt at automation will be similar to that of Amazon's Go stores, which have yet to open to the public and will use a combination of sensors and tracking devices to indicate what customers are taking off of shelves so it can bill them automatically.

If the concept is picked up, Walmart jobs may be on the line, as the need for human cashiers could dwindle.

In addition to Project Kepler, Walmart is also working on a new service for "busy NYC moms," according to Recode.

Code Eight, a Walmart subsidiary, is testing a personal shopping service that will aim to give customers product recommendations and make purchases simply through text messaging.

In some cases, customers can get purchases simply by texting a photo of the product they want using automated bots.

"We set our sights on taking the lead in conversational commerce by leveraging machine learning, NLP, and personalization algorithms," a Code Eight job listing reads.

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The target customers for the Code Eight initiative is described as "high net worth urban consumer" -- with household items delivered free within 24 hours and other purchases delivered within two business days.

Code Eight, according to Recode, will charge a membership fee, but current customers testing the service are using it for free.

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