According to Gizmodo, Walmart is filing for a bunch of patents to help improve their shoppers’ experiences as they trudge down the aisles, looking for the biggest bargains.
One of these patents suggests a sort of sensing device to more or less turn Walmart’s carts in smart carts. They’d be able to communicate with your smartphone, perhaps to help steer you in the direction of the items you’re looking for. There are a few patents for managing and sensing inventory levels in the works as well. In addition, perhaps the most unusual/creepy patent Walmart’s going for is one that tracks users through wearables.
A patent for shopping-assistant drones is also being filed by Walmart. The drones would be able to sync up with a user’s smartphone in order to “provide assistance to the user in the form of price verification or navigation assistance.”
Finally, Walmart is also filing for two patents related to autonomous technology. One of these is a system of sensors, a communication interface, and a processor used to automatically gather information about vehicles used to transport their items. The other describes methodology used for detecting items in a container.
This is all pretty exciting stuff for Walmart shoppers (if you’re into that sort of thing), but it’s tough to tell if any of these patents will actually be granted to the massive retail chain. And even if they do, how this technology will work out when physically put into everyday usage at their locations is an even bigger question.
[via The Verge]