Walmart reportedly explores cashier-free stores to keep pace with Amazon

How do you like the idea of waltzing into a store, taking what you need, and then getting the hell out? No checkouts, no lines, no waiting.

Walmart is exploring the idea of stores without staff where you can simply “grab and go,” with computer vision technology monitoring what you place in your bag so it can automatically tot up the amount and take it from your bank account, sources claiming to have knowledge of the matter told Recode this week.

Yes, it does sound very similar to Amazon’s Go store, a concept unveiled about a year ago but which has yet to launch for the public. The last we heard, Amazon was having some difficulties at its test store in Seattle regarding the all-important payment system, with the technology unable to track more than 20 customers at a time.

It’s not clear how similar Walmart’s technology is to Amazon’s, but it nevertheless appears to be creating something along the same lines to offer a speedier and more convenient shopping experience that really doesn’t feel like shopping at all.

Walmart’s effort, codenamed Project Kepler, is part of the company’s Store No. 8 startup incubator, and is reportedly headed up by Mike Hanrahan, the co-founder and former chief technology officer of online shopping service Walmart acquired for around $3 billion in 2016 and took on Hanrahan and Marc Lore,’s other co-founder. Lore now leads Walmart’s ecommerce efforts and the pair are using their experience to battle the likes of Amazon while attempting to broaden the customer base of the big-box retailer.

Another initiative reportedly underway is a personal shopping service targeting “busy NYC moms,” according to Recode’s sources. Managed by Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss, the service would use text messages to send product recommendations to shoppers, which they can then quickly purchase simply by replying. Once again with Amazon in its sights, many of the offered products would be delivered to customers within 24 hours, or within two business days at the most, while returns would be collected by the company at no extra charge.

Walmart’s reported projects indicate the company’s determination to use technology to bolster its business and expand its customer base to keep pace with the likes of Amazon. However, we’ll have to wait and see whether the cashier-free store and messaging-based shopping service develop into a real offering, as it’s still early days for both initiatives.


At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for March 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for March 2019.
Smart Home

Get sweaty with the best smart home fitness gadgets on the market

Are you looking for smart fitness devices that will really help your workouts, no matter where you like to exercise? These smart home gadgets are designed to help you analyze your workouts and keep track of how you are doing.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Emerging Tech

The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually

Imagine if the U.S. Army was able to rehearse battlezone scenarios dozens, or even hundreds, or times before settling foot on actual terrain. Thanks to virtual reality, that's now a possibility.

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Emerging Tech

Inflating smart pills could be a painless alternative to injections

Could an inflating pill containing hidden microneedles replace painful injections? The creators of the RaniPill robotic capsule think so — and they have the human trials to prove it.
Emerging Tech

A silver bullet is being aimed at the drug-resistant superbugs on the ISS

A bacteria which is benign here on Earth can mutate into a drug-resistant superbug once it enters space. Now this problem is being tackled by a team of microbiologists who have found a way to inhibit the spread of bacteria in the ISS.
Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.