1. Walmart Using AI for Theft
Walmart is using Artificial Intelligence to prevent theft and store mistakes. They have hooked up their cameras that monitor the checkout to ensure every product has been scanned and paid for. “The system is known internally as Missed Scan Detection and uses computer vision to monitor both manned and self-checkout areas at each store”. These thefts are called shrink, when store inventory disappears without being paid for. “If Walmart experiences the average for US retailer shrink rates, then it’s losing roughly $4 billion a year”. Walmart has invested over half a billion dollars in the past 3 years. Funny enough, O’Herlihy explains, “People find it hard to scan milk … Sometimes they get frustrated and they just don’t scan it”.
2. Samsung SmartThings
We’re not really sure where Samsung’s products have been because the Galaxy Home is lost in the woods. SmartThings, the home automation startup the company acquired in 2014, has released a trio of products: SmartThings Cam, WiFi Smart Plug, and Smart Bulb. “It acts as the backbone of Samsung’s smart home ambitions, linking everything from its line of TVs to its home appliances to gadgets like what’s being announced today”. Additionally, they want to maintain their focus on low cost entry points for the starter smart home. Although, these products are highly priced: “$89.99 SmartThings Cam, $17.99 SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug, and $9.99 SmartThings Smart Bulb”. The SmartThings platform “works with over 600 compatible devices from 60 different companies”. However, the new Cam and Smart Plug offer a way for Samsung to attract potential buyers interested in the platform without having to purchase a hardware hub.
So what’s next, Samsung?
(Source: TechCrunch, The Verge)
3. Amazon vs. Bookstore
Do you read hardcopy books or read them through an online bookstore? Majority of the population has switched to online books, procuring such titles throughAmazon bookstore who currently sell more than half of the books in the United States. They are “a platform for third-party sellers, a publisher, a printer, a self-publisher, a review hub, a textbook supplier and a distributor that now runs its own chain of brick-and-mortar stores”. Amazon follows the hands-off approach to what goes on in a bookstore and as a result are finding counterfeit products and services through their portal. For example, “ Booksellers that seem to have no verifiable existence outside Amazon offer $10 books for $100 or even $1,000 on the site, raising suspicions of algorithms run wild or even money-laundering”.
How can Amazon take care of this? Well they directly cannot, other than having a spokesperson reassure all the problems, because Amazon’s business model “does not break out revenue or profit from bookselling or publishing, assumes that everyone on its platform operates in good faith until proven otherwise”. Due to numerous counterfeits, they introduced a plan called Project Zero, “where brands would no longer have to report counterfeits and wait for the retailer to investigate. Project Zero would give brands an unprecedented ability to directly control and remove listings”.
For more information, read the full article here.
(Source: New York Times)