Recent patent filings by Walmart could give a glimpse into how it plans to leverage leading-edge technology to improve efficiency and the shopping experience.
While not all of the patents will necessarily make it to real-world applications, the list of patents, as reported by CNBC, makes for interesting reading.
Patent filings include smart shopping carts that uses a sensor to navigate, a wearable tracking device that could improve employee productivity – Walmart’s arch rival Amazon applied for a similar technology in 2016.
An electronic imaging device could be used to monitor inventory levels and send a warning when it’s time to restock, and a “drone assistance technology” could help shoppers by verifying prices and help them navigate around the large stores.
Walmart is also investigating blockchain, filing a patent for a user interface model that could help customers resell products at a new price. And Walmart also seems to be taking a look at blockchain as a way of allowing self-driving delivery vehicles to access restricted areas using authentication based access and encryption.