From the department of zany patents comes Walmart’s idea for a convenience store inside your own home.
In a patent filed by the company with the sexy moniker of “Unattended Storefront Apparatus,” an area of the home would serve as an in-house Walmart monitored digitally and restocked by robots. The space would encourage the “touch-and-feel” shopping in a “step-in” space, so it’s much larger than a standard vending machine.
This zany idea comes in contention with foodservice with sections of the storefront being refrigerated. So customers can get their favorite Walmart grocery items or prepared food delivered right to their very own Walmart.
Much like Amazon’s automated grocery store, the Walmart storefront would use sensors to detect when products were removed from the store—so no trying on a new Faded Glory sweatshirt for a few hours and returning it to your Walmart closet.
Of course with many futuristic patents like this, there is no timeline, no pricing structure or really a whole lot of underlying technology that would make this actually feasible. But compared to Amazon’s drone tower or Walmart’s own drone blimp, this seems quite sane.