Most anyone you ask would agree that there is just a time when developers need to just let it go. Not every object needs to have a microphone, camera, or even multiple sensors attached to it.
There may be a justification for these types of items being included on that you may expect them to be part of but not attached to those items listed in a new patent filed by Walmart.
The patent is that of a smart shopping cart. The premise is that its design will provide feedback to the retailer on your spending habits and such areas as your pulse rate and when you choose to slow down or stop to look at merchandise. The data would then be collected, analyzed, and used to encourage you to buy more.
More often than not, when we go to a store, we are on a mission—get in, get what we need, get out. However, there are those occasions when you like to take a few moments and look around check out if there are any bargains to be had. This is the kind of data that Walmart is after, and their new shopping carts can provide it for them.
The stores we shop at already know what we buy, as the information is included on each receipt we are given. However, Walmart wants to take this a step further and wants to information such as what items you are slowing down and taking a look at, even if in the end they are not part of your purchase.
The shopping carts are able to monitor heart rate, and with this can detect which items we are looking at that cause us to get excited about.
In August of this year, Walmart officially applied for its patent on a “biometric feedback cart handle,” explicitly designed for a standard shopping cart. The handle would be able to measure and receive feedback on such data as heart rate, speed, temperature, even the amount of force the shopper places on the cart’s handle.
We already have to deal with social media sites and browser watching our every move online, now we will have to deal with shopping at Walmart, stopping to look at a pair of shoes, only to have an ad for those same shoes show up in our browser feed a few hours later.
Are retailers taking things a little too far, with this newest Big Brother approach, in the interest of advertising?