Shopping Cart Sensors
Walmart recently submitted a patent application for a shopping cart that will allow it to know what you are feeling inside its stores. While gripping the shopping cart, it will “track a customer’s heart rate, temperature, how tightly they’re gripping the cart’s handle, and other data like the speed at which the cart is being pushed” (Mogg, 2018). This data will then be transmitted to a server for analysis and initiate a response if necessary. No personal data will be collected, but it will leveraged to learn how shoppers respond to certain store conditions so they can change them accordingly. Also, Walmart explained how it could offer speedy assistance if it detects someone experiencing a sudden health issue like a rapidly increasing heart rate or temperature. This seems invasive, but at the same time could be useful to discover consumer shopping habits. I feel like it is a possibility that people may become more anxious knowing they are being monitored like this, which could in turn skew results unknowingly. If they are able to identify what stresses people out while shopping in their stores and resolve it, then it would ultimately be a useful idea. Is this a good technology investment for Walmart? Could their money be better used developing another, more useful idea?