Walmart Plans to Monitor Shopper’s Stress Levels

Walmart takes being at the forefront with technology very seriously in order to manage its stores and serve its customers. Not only do they use in-store robots for shelf inventory or use the autonomous cleaner to clean and polish floors, but the company is also testing three-dimensional technology. Most recently, the retailer published a patent application for a system to monitor customers’ heart rates, temperatures, and stress levels while they are shopping in their stores.

According to the publication CBInsights, the supermarket giant seeks to patent a technology named, by the company, the “System And Method For A Biometric Feedback Cart Handle.”

Soon, Walmart employees will be able to monitor the emotional state of customers as soon as they put their hands on the cart handle while they are shopping.

The idea is that they can collect biometric data to determine when customers may need help. However, Walmart said it would not collect any personally identifiable data.

Courtesy of Walmart

The patent states that “the shopping cart, upon being moved, ‘wakes up’ from being in a low-power or ‘sleep’ state mode.”

Then, readings on temperature, pulse, speed and the force at which someone squeezes the handle or pushes the cart would be used to create a baseline for the client’s condition, according to CBInsights.

If biometric indicators show signs of emergency, the program may also issue a broadcast throughout the store to call associates’ attention to the situation and could potentially initiate a call for emergency medical help as well.

To monitor heart rates, temperature and speed, the system could also use these metrics to measure a shopper’s stress levels, explained CBInsights.

It would combine these factors with contextual information to determine if an alert is justified.

With this system to monitor shopper’s emotional state, as explained in the patent application, Walmart seeks to improve the overall shopping experience for customers.