Walmart is using computer vision technology to track theft at checkout lanes, says a Business Insider article.
This computer surveillance program is referred to by the retail chain as “Missed Scan Detection” and uses cameras to identify scanning errors or failures, the article says.
“Cameras track and analyze activities at both self-checkout registers and those manned by Walmart cashiers. When a potential issue arises, such as an item moving past a checkout scanner without getting scanned, the technology notifies checkout attendants so they can intervene,” Business Insider reports.
The article cites research from the National Retail Federation which finds that US retailers lose about 1.33% of revenue due to theft, fraud, or scanning issues. That figure would equate to $4 billion of Walmart’s business, Business Insider says.
Results of the computer vision technology
The chain started using computer vision technology two years ago, and since then, thefts surrounding problems at checkout have declined in stores where the tech was deployed, says a Walmart spokesperson that Business Insider spoke with.
Who makes the Missed Scan Detection tech?
Everseen, an Ireland-based company, is one of several companies providing the American retail chain with this technology, the spokesperson told Business Insider.
“By using state of the art artificial intelligence, computer vision systems, and big data, we can detect abnormal activity and other threats. Our digital eye has perfect vision and it never needs a coffee break or a day off,” says a promotional Everseen video.
Though, according to Everseen’s CEO, most of the checkout issues their technology captures are accidental.
“Customers might forget items in the bottom of their carts. Cashiers could accidentally fail to scan an item if they are tired or distracted. One of the most commonly mis-scanned items is milk,” says the Business Insider article.