Kroger and Nvidia partner to ‘reinvent the shopping experience’ with AI and digital twin simulations

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Nvidia and Kroger today announced a “strategic collaboration” designed to bring more AI-powered applications and services to the grocery realm.

The duo announced the new partnership today at GTC 2022, Nvidia’s annual developer-focused AI conference.

As the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. by revenue, Kroger needs little introduction. But as with many “traditional” brick-and-mortar retailers, Kroger has had to move with the times and embrace technology to connect with consumers where they prefer to transact — today, Kroger claims third spot in terms of online U.S. grocery sales, after Walmart and Amazon.

Kroger has been investing heavily in its modernization efforts, which has included partnering with robotics company Ocado, and teaming up with Microsoft to develop data-driven grocery stores. And its latest partnership fits neatly into those other recent initiatives.

Kroger and Nvidia at GTC 2022

Digital twins

Kroger and Nvidia revealed plans to build an AI lab and “demonstration center,” to improve its shipping logistics and in-store shopping experience.

Part of this will entail creating so-called “digital twin” simulations, which will reflect actual store layouts. Digital twins are essentially virtual replicas of a real-world entity, and are used to predict how a particular product will perform through real-time data — for Kroger, it’s all about optimizing its in-store efficiency and processes.

The new lab will be housed at Kroger’s HQ in Cincinnati, and will leverage several Nvidia products including its AI
Enterprise software suite
, Omniverse Enterprise for digital twin simulations, and ReOpt to optimize logistics. From a hardware perspective, the lab will include nine Nvidia DGX A100 systems, InfiniBand networking, and RTX workstations.

Collectively, they will help garner big data insights from thousands of stores across the U.S., including finding earlier indicators of “deteriorating freshness” using computer vision and analytics. They will also work together to optimize routes for last-mile delivery between the point of production (e.g., farm) and the customer’s home.

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