Walmart has filed several patent applications that suggest the retail giant may be using technology to significantly change the way customers shop in-store and online.
In terms of in-store tech, Walmart’s patents include the patents include a “sensing device” to make smart shopping carts that customers could interact with using a mobile device. As well, Walmart’s other mobile-centred patent is for drones that would assist customers shopping in-store.
According to the patent, customers would be able to summon a drone through a mobile device to “provide price verification of a user-specified object or […] provide navigation assistance […] to guide the user to the user-specified object.”
On the operations side of business, meanwhile, one of the filed patents suggests wearables that would presumably help associates locate customers who need help. Walmart also filed several patents for new tech that can help monitor and manage inventory levels.
To help with e-commerce business, Walmart’s patents delve into autonomous tech. One of the patents suggests a device that can identify items in a container, while another is for a communication interface that provides product information to vehicles, such as size, temperature and weight.
As with any patent, this proposed tech may never come to pass. In any case, it’s a sign of some of the ways that retailers are looking to incorporate technology into everyday business.