On Wednesday, Huawei has opened the first unmanned retail store with robotic staff in the city of Wuhan, China. The store has a touchscreen display in the front where the buyers can select the items that they want to purchase and the delivery will be done by a robot or more precisely, a giant robotic arm brings it to the counter which will be then delivered to the customers by a small robot. The transactions are done online. The store is a futuristic concept and only one has been open now.
The store will remain open throughout and right now they are delivering only lightweight and small gadgets, accessories and smartphones. The store has not yet started delivering heavy electronics like smart TVs. The retail store is equipped with smart inventory management, smart scheduling, and smart storage automatic inventory.
The unmanned tech stores are becoming extremely popular especially in the US, the pioneer being Amazon, by starting the Amazon Go Stores at selected locations around the country. These locations include Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York.
These stores use lots of cutting edge technologies such as automating the purchase with deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion, computer vision and checkout and payment procedures associated with the transaction.
Although this is a highly futuristic and Hitech concept, it still remains in the beginning stages because of the large number of technical difficulties. This includes the inability of the sensors to track multiple objects in the store or the users and various other issues.
The Huawei automated store is better than these and does things a little differently but we do not know whether they are starting branches elsewhere or it will be one of a kind. Do share your thoughts on Huawei’s unmanned store in the comment section below!