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Walmart’s patent hints at drone shopping assistant

In the race for retail supremacy, Walmart (WMT) continues to show its commitment towards leveraging innovation and technology. And to compete with online retailers like Amazon (AMZN), now the company is considering of introducing some smart carts and drones to assist customers- a move to bolster its in-store shopping.

Courtesy – Wikimedia Commons

According to the latest report by Gizmodo, the retail giant has filed for a host of patents. One of it is the sensing device that will make the shopping carts easily detect the products placed in the cart and also sense the products kept in stock in shelves. Another interesting patent is that of a smart cart, which, according to the retailer, will help shoppers navigate through the stores’ aisles and help in easily detecting the items needed.

The other patent is for tracking customers as and when they enter the store with the help of wearables. Walmart even talks of a drone in its patent. According to the retailer, customers can communicate with the in-store drones via mobile phones and seek their assistance to locate a specific item. Drones could scan product barcodes and give the information to the customers in the form of a display or a machine-spoken form.

Undoubtedly, these new patents filed by Walmart are quite impressive and clearly highlights the retailers’ effort to digitize its store and fasten the shopping manner of the customers. Walmart is yet to make its revelation on its plans of having fully automated stores in future. It will, however, be interesting to see Walmart work on these novel concepts.

Walmart is not the only retailer working on drastically transforming the way it functions. Target (TGT), another retailer also has been working on dozens of initiatives that are aimed at boosting its same-store sales.

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