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At Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab, the future is here

Artificial intelligence, interactive displays and a massive data center are highlights of lab-within-a-store

Artificial intelligence meets real-world shopping as Walmart today officially opened its new Intelligent Retail Lab (or IRL for short) inside a 50,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market grocery store in Levittown, N.Y., on Long Island.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store No 8 has positioned the lab within one of the company’s busiest locations where the retailer will test new, innovative ideas within a real store containing over 30,000 items and equipped with artificial intelligence-enabled cameras, interactive displays and a massive data center.

“We’ve got 50,000 square feet of real retail space. The scope of what we can do operationally is so exciting,” said Mike Hanrahan, CEO and founder of IRL, in a Walmart blog. “Technology enables us to understand so much more — in real time — about our business. When you combine all the information we’re gathering in IRL with Walmart’s 50-plus years of expertise in running stores, you can create really powerful experiences that improve the lives of both our customers and associates.” (Click here for a video look at Walmart’s IRL.)

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