Using computer vision technology, Walmart has been surveilling its customers during checkouts. This new technology is called Missed Scan Detection. It detects when an item is moved past the scanner but doesn’t actually get scanned. Business Insider reported that in the past two years this new technology has been put in over 1,000 stores across the US. It will be monitoring self-checkout and employee checkout.
The new technology consists of cameras that detect items moving across the scanner and if there is suspicious or unusual activity, an attendant will be notified and will come check it out. The purpose of Missed Scan Detection is to help reduce theft and other loses. This problem has cost US retailers up to $47 billion alone in 2017.
Walmart has reported a decline in thefts, inventory loss, fraud and scanning errors in the past two years since implementing this new system. There are no specific numbers or rates though.
Walmart and Amazon have been trying use AI and computer vision technology to better their companies. Their approaches are completely different though. Amazon uses AI to create a shopping experience that doesn’t require a cashier, whereas Walmart is using technology to help their store employees’ productivity. Walmart opened an AI-powered store in April where computer technology monitors inventory live so employees know when they need to restock sections.