As its arch-nemesis Amazon continues to shore up its patents stack to improve the user’s shopping experience, Walmart is not sitting idle either. The American retail giant has filed a string of patents that describe what our future shopping experience may look like.
The first of many patent applications is for a wearable that shoppers will have to wear to track their movements, especially to see when they enter and leave the store. This has been paired with an in-store tech idea, which involves using sensors and AI to make the carts smart enough that they can guide you to the products on your shopping list.
Another patent from Walmart looks at the use of sensors to automatically detect all the products that you pick and place in your cart. This technology is also expected to come in handy in management as the sensors will also be baked into shelves to make it possible for the company to detect the number of products in stock.
In tandem with previous patents, Walmart is also looking to employ drones to provide its shoppers with assistance. The company’s brick-and-mortar stores are huge, so it plans to use of drones to guide shoppers to a specific item that they’re looking to buy or verify the price of the product. No, these drones won’t fall down on your head as they will be flying over the aisle shelves.
All of these patent combined paint only one picture. Walmart is planning to rival Amazon Go store, the cashier-less store that the company is testing and planning to set up across the globe. However, Walmart is also looking to open fully-autonomous stores in the near future and employ self-driving vehicles (or robots) to complete deliveries. So, this means Amazon and Walmart will be at each other’s throat, trying to capture a larger share of the market.