Walmart, an American multinational retail corporation filed a patent for its new smart shopping cart in August. This cart is equipped with biometric sensors that can track your heart rate, body temperature, grip on cart handle, stress levels and walking speed around the store. This is similar to smartwatches which can measure the same things with the sensors embedded in them.
The patent is called ‘System and Method for A Biometric Feedback Cart Handle’ and it covers up the system of the cart which can track your inner excitement or stress levels and send all the data to Walmart server. In case of an emergency in the store, For instance, if a shopper falls ill while shopping Walmart would immediately know that because of the sensors in the cart that can track your heart rate and will send help. The server does an analysis of the baseline biometric data which is generated at the cart handle and then identifies whether a check on the customer is necessary rot not.
Critics are obviously going to consider this an intervention in their shopping experiences but Walmart says it can attain huge benefits from this. Considering the pace at which technology is going and how important marketing is for every company these days, it was inevitable that a smart cart like invention popped up.
This smart cart although does not exist so far but it might prove to be a gem for Walmart Marketing department. What better information could be there than the Customer’s inner excitement level while walking around different aisles of the store. Walmart could use this information to make their stores even better and in accordance with the customer’s desire and make the customer’s shopping experience even better. This smart cart could help Walmart ineffective store planning suited to customer’s ease and comfort.
This invention by Walmart is nothing new. Earlier this year, John Hancock an insurance company decided that it will only sell interactive policies to customers who actually take interest in their fitness and so it track its customer’s fitness levels.
We are yet to see if this smart cart comes into existence and if it does, how customers will react to this intrusive action by Walmart would be interesting to know.