Walmart’s New AI-Camera Technology Can Prevent Theft at Checkout

Image Source: iStock.com/artran

Computer vision technology has been implemented in over 1,000 Walmart stores. This type of technology is called the Missed Scan Detection which helps checkout registers recognize if items have passed by the scanner without being scanned and immediately notifies the attendant. Walmart’s surveillance system is being upgraded by applying this new technology at their kiosk stations and their registers. 

AI is surely becoming a part of our everyday lives as large retailers like Walmart begin to rely on these systems for daily operations. The ultimate goal of computer vision technology is to prevent revenue loss and theft, which, in 2017, turned out to be a big problem for many U.S. retailers who lost up to $47 billion. Since the system was installed, Walmart stated that they have had decreased theft, losses, and errors.

Walmart hasn’t been the only large retailer to use AI. Amazon has been investing in Artificial Intelligence as well, however, the approach is a little different. They have produced a smooth and cashier-less experience for their customers in their own Go stores. 

Aside from it’s anti-theft technology, Walmart also recently opened an AI-powered store to supervise their large inventory. This makes it easier for employees to keep track of when stocks are running low and order items on time before supply runs out.

Oculus Acquires Nimble VR

The world of VR gaming has largely been focused on providing the ultimate immersive experience, but what about how users interact with these realistic environments? Today Oculus announced the acquisition of Nimble VR, the developers of a specialized camera built for high-quality, low-latency skeletal hand tracking. Instead of using controllers, users will need only to rely on the dexterity of their own hands.

Nimble Sense

The Nimble Sense camera is far more accurate than other motion sensing cameras already on the market. In their Kickstarter video, it’s explained that the accuracy of their 3D point cloud is made possible by using a time-of-flight system for the Nimble Sense as opposed to point-by-point laser scanning. The time-of-flight method for capturing 3D images is also better optimized for speed, capturing up to 160 images per second, resulting in reduced latency.

nimble-static

While the Sense would be undeniably useful in many fields outside of gaming, one of the exciting applications for Nimble’s technology is it’s pairing with the Oculus Rift. When mounted atop the VR headset, the camera takes users’ hand motions as input and displays them in the Oculus Rift virtual environment. This new level of kinetic interactivity will offer another dimension to VR gaming with the already impressive Oculus Rift once it becomes available to consumers.

Originally seeking $62,500 in funding through Kickstarter, Nimble cancelled the campaign today and announced they would be joining Oculus (at this point, they had far exceeded their goal with a total of $135,511 pledged).

Oculus also announced that 13th Lab and Chris Breglar would be joining their team in efforts to tackle computer vision challenges that are obstacles in delivering a more realistic VR gaming experience to consumers.

We recently had the opportunity to test out the Samsung Gear VR (an Oculus-Samsung joint VR focused on home theater) at an event for DIY Girls, and found the demo truly immersive. Each new version of the Oculus Rift has brought radical improvements to the user experience and we can only imagine what the future has in store for VR gaming with the addition of the Nimble team.

Gear VR