Walmart, an American chain of stores, has new plans of how to facilitate the shopping experience for its customers. Now consumers will be guided by drones. And what task will they have? Help Americans not to get lost in the store between the meat department and the dairy department.
If you still do not believe that such a situation can really happen in the near future, then put yourself at least for a moment in the place of a typical American. You’re lost in the supermarket. You do not know where to go, you have no idea where to find all the burgers, hot dogs and popcorns you wanted. In addition, you just a had a couple of beers and the orientation in the field is an abstract concept for you. Your memory fails because the manager constantly rearranges the products on the shelves and besides, in general, you only go there three times a week. What would you end up doing? No, you do not cry and you do not panic. Instead, you take out your beloved phone and call the drone! After a while, like a white pigeon with an olive branch in the beak, a small, buzzing drone will come to assist you and save you from oppression. It is thanks to its help that you will find the way to the promised land. Simple? In theory, yes.
How to get what you want within minutes
The patent application files by Walmart assumes that every customer will be able to call for help from a mobile device, i.e. a phone or tablet. The request will be registered in the centralized computer system of the store, which will then send a drone to locate the customer who needs advice on prices or the exact location of the products. To find the goods you need, the drone can act as a guide that will direct the customer to the appropriate rack or provide him with a visual map showing the location of the goods in the store. Interestingly, the drones will be equipped with sensors to prevent collisions with other drones, items in the store and most important – customers. In other words, there is a good chance that people will not get hurt.
That’s not everything. In addition to pointing the way to specific alleys and departments, drones are also supposed to operate on the basis of a virtual shopping list, which the customer has completed earlier. You make a list, bring it to the store, wait for the drone to show you where the products are located, do your shopping quickly and go home to watch your favorite movie. Ideally, the drone would deliver the goods straight to the basket, but well, it is not so good yet.
Is laziness the second name of technology?
It is difficult to say whether this solution will actually come to fruition. Walmart’s action is not surprising – big companies routinely submit patents that in practice may never be implemented. These patents are ideas for the future.
It’s worth to admit that the future that Walmart wants to provide is … very convenient. No wonder the idea was so enthusiastically received. The future in which the drones are available to the customer and act as a shopping assistant is getting closer and more tempting. It turns out that Americans are already a step away from the invention that would revolutionize the way we shop. New solutions appear on the market that limit the human contribution. Since technology will do everything for us, what is the point of excessive effort?
Photo: wikimedia.com/WMCH Drone