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Walmart files patent for shopping cart that tracks stress levels



Walmart employee cart
Walmart filed a patent for
a shopping cart that would know if you’re freaking out

William Thomas Cain/Getty

  • Walmart
    filed a patent application for a shopping cart that would track
    things such as shoppers’ heart rates and temperatures and how
    strongly they’re gripping the handle. 
  • According to the patent filing, the cart would use this data
    to figure out whether shoppers are stressed and when they might
    need help.
  • Employees would be alerted to check on customers who seem to
    be internally freaking out, based on the shopping cart’s

Walmart has filed a patent for a shopping cart that would measure
your stress levels and alert employees if shoppers are internally
freaking out. 

The retail giant recently published a
patent application
for a biometric cart handle,
CB Insights reports.
The shopping-cart handle would track
data obtained from the customer holding the cart, such as
shoppers’ heart rates and temperatures and how strongly they’re
gripping the cart’s handle.

An analysis of this data could be used to understand shoppers’
stress levels or other indicators that they might need help,
according to the patent filing. If a customer seems to be
struggling or stressed, the cart would send an alert over to an
employee, who would then sent to check on the shopper.

walmart shopping cart robot
figure from Walmart’s patent for the shopping


In some situations, such as an apparent medical emergency, the
cart may even prompt more drastic measures, such as sending a
notification over the store’s intercom. And, trends in behavior —
such as customers across the store getting more stressed when a
certain song plays — could result in management making more
long-term changes. 

The patent application is careful to clarify that the data would
not be linked to the identity of any individual customer.
However, a shopping cart that could essentially read customers’
minds is a futuristic concept that may edge into creepy territory
for some. 

Walmart is increasingly turning to robots and new technology to
compete with rivals such as Amazon.

Fifty Walmart stores
across the country uses autonomous robots,
which go up and
down aisles, scanning for out-of-stock items, incorrect prices,
and wrong or missing labels. The company is also
testing automated robotic carts
 to pick and pack
shoppers’ online grocery orders.

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