There’s Something New At Walmart That Is Spying On You While You Shop…


Gone are the days of running into a store to grab a quick carton of milk. Now retailers want to track every element of your experience in their stores, from your spending habits to your location and now even your heart rate.

It’s bad enough that the internet is judging what you wear when you go to Walmart. Soon your shopping cart could be keeping tabs on you, too.

Walmart is trying to patent a design for a “biometric feedback cart handle” on a shopping cart that could measure a shopper’s heart rate, temperature, speed and the amount of force they apply to the handle as they walk around a store.

The patent says, “the shopping cart, upon being moved, ‘wakes up’ from being in a low-power or ‘sleep’ state mode,” indicating that the smart cart would begin collecting information when a shopper starts using it and go to “sleep” once they stop.

Sensors would collect the information and upload it to Walmart’s servers, where it would be analyzed for signs of shopper distress, according to the patent for a “System and Method for a Biometric Feedback Cart Handle.”

The biometric data collected would be used to determine if a shopper needed assistance and would transmit a notification to “at least one store associate to check on the user,” per the patent application.

Sounds like something from Black Mirror, right? Well, the patent also revealed that these smart carts would include a pulse oximeter, to detect if a customer is close to passing out, as well as weight-triggered push assistance that will help customers push the cart when it gets too heavy.

It’s thought that by monitoring your biometrics, Walmart will be able to better understand how customers feel when in the store. The data could then be fed through a server, enabling a store employee to come to your assistance if they suspect you’re not completely happy.

The documents state that the technology is simply being devised to maximize service and satisfaction for customers, though there are those who remain skeptical as to Walmart’s true motivations.

It’s said they’re considering the use of audio technology to listen in on conversations between customers and cashiers at the checkout!

Now, it should be mentioned that the patent applications don’t necessarily mean Walmart are going to actually use them anytime soon – that’s if they’re approved – but many people have still been left feeling as though their privacy may be infringed upon.

What side of the fence do you sit on? Should Walmart and other superstore chains have the ability to garner information on you? Is it a breach of privacy?

Source: AWM

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