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Walmart Acquires Patent to Eavesdrop on Employees and Customers

Walmart was recently granted a patent for a surveillance system using which the retail brand could capture and analyze the sounds made in its stores. With the proposed sound capturing system, Walmart plans to document and analyze consumer-employee interactions, the rustling of shopping bags, and register beeps. The proposed system will use sound sensors to capture and store audio data.

The system plans to evaluate each of these sounds to gain valuable insights into consumer psyche and also use it as an anti-theft solution. By capturing the number of beeps on the register and cross-referencing it with the rustling of shopping bags the surveillance system can calculate the number of items transacted and the number of bags checked out. The calculation can help prevent theft during rush hours. The audio surveillance system will be capable of determining the length of the queue on counters by capturing the difference between noises made by customers. Also, the proposed system is expected to capture live employee-customer interactions which can be used in an array of ways to evaluate multiple performance metrics of the retail store. From evaluating employee performance to capturing the demand for a certain product, the proposed audio surveillance system is expected to do it all.

With the audio surveillance system in place, the retail giants aim to generate an employee performance report in order to calculate, analyze, and leverage the performance metrics of their retail store around the world. The employee performance report generated from the system will enable the retail giants to exceed customer expectations and cut down on costs required to maintain a facility. Amazon has been using similar surveillance and monitoring systems to develop cashier-less stores around the world. Currently, Amazon is testing its technology through nine prototype stores where employees and customers are being monitored using different audio and video surveillance systems.

Walmart has a history of patenting technologies that bolster the growth of their retail business while cutting down on costs. Some of the major patented technologies include automated store janitors and autonomous robot bees. The robotic janitors are being developed with a vision to keep the retail stores’ floors clean and spotless without any requirement of any human supervision. With cleaning out of the way, the robot janitor project aims to free employees to aid customers in shopping and ensure customer satisfaction. On the other hand, the retail giant plans to us automated robotic bees to cut agricultural costs and increase efficiency.

Rohit Bhisey
With more than 10 years’ experience in the field of Internet marketing and market research, Rohit’s passion lies in understanding the global and regional trends across multiple industries and scrutinizing their impact at various levels. His attention to detail and his perseverance shine through in highly analytical articles as presented on Transparency Journal.

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