& cplSiteName &

Wal-Mart to Add Sensors

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Feed
Light Reading
3/2/2006
50%
50%

DALLAS -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it's experimenting with sensor technology this year, pursuing two "proof-of-concepts" that would speed products to shelves and provide customers with better quality produce.

Integrating sensor technology to monitor temperatures with a sophisticated radio frequency (RFID) technology network would enable Wal-Mart to maintain quality produce and fresh foods on store shelves. "Think about bananas," said Carolyn Walton, Wal-Mart's vice president of IT, during at panel discussion at RFID World 2006 Wednesday. "I'll bet you didn't know what happens along that journey."

A crate of bananas arrives at distribution centers ripened by being exposed to nitrogen. Wal-Mart wants to find a way with sensor technology to ensure bananas on store shelves at Supercenters are the perfect ripeness for customers. The mega-retailer would integrate sensors with radio frequency identification technology.

Wal-Mart wants access to the data that identifies where the box has been on its journey, how long it took and exactly how much nitrogen it needs to reach the shelf at the perfect ripeness. The customer will have a premium quality product and Wal-Mart will have to markdown or throw away less food.

Wal-Mart, however, isn't the only grocery chain reviewing sensor networks to better manage the cold chain to protect food quality and safety. Randy Dunn, national director of RFID at ADT Security Services Inc., a Tyco division, is working on a similar project with an unnamed California-based supermarket. "It's all about maintaining the quality of food." Dunn said in an interview. RFID and sensor technology also can help to speed products from trucks to store shelves. On average, Wal-Mart Supercenter markets receive seven truckloads of freight daily. That accounts for approximately 7,000 boxes taken off trucks and prepared for stocking. What if stock clerks unloading goods had a wearable device to tell them where to put the boxes? In some cases the box will go directly to the store floor.

Speed to shelf would minimize handling and put products in customer hands when needed. "The numbers are big," Walton said. "A wearable device with alerts would help Wal-Mart unload freight more efficiently."

Walton said Wal-Mart is working with several technology companies on products that would enable an RFID event through this sensor network. This year, the retail chain also will focus on "precise execution" to make certain products, such as movie and music releases or holiday and promotional items are on the floor at the correct time. Gathering information and collaborating with suppliers, Wal-Mart knows when it doesn't get product to the floor fast enough at those stores equipped with RFID.

— Courtesy of TechWeb

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Australia's Optus on Back Foot After 'Anglo Saxon' Job Ad
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 4/13/2018
Is Gmail Testing Self-Destructing Messages?
Mitch Wagner, Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, Light Reading, 4/13/2018
BDAC Blowback – Ex-Chair Arrested
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/17/2018
Verizon: Lack of Interoperability, Consistency Slows Automation
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/18/2018
Comcast, Netflix Cozy Up in New Deal
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/13/2018
Animals with Phones
I Heard There Was a Dresscode... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed