It’s become a focal point of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to explore new innovations that would reinvent the way people shop.
You may have heard about the most recent example of that when the nation’s largest retailer was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a “motorized transport unit.” Yes, robotic shopping carts could in the future for Walmart shoppers.
So what innovation could be next? How about augmented reality, defined as the integration of graphic content into a user environment. On Sept. 20, the U.S. government awarded a patent to the retailer for a “method and system for managing an electronic shopping list with gestures.”
A description with the filing says the patent “relates generally to providing a shopping list to a consumer that can be created and manipulated electronically. In particular, a consumer can use and update the electronic shopping list with commands that are transmitted through an augmented reality device.”
The inventors are engineers Stuart Argue and Anthony Marcar, who co-founded tech company Grabble, which provides retailers a point-of-service app for purchases. The Australian startup was acquired by Walmart in 2011, and Argue and Marcar went to work for the company’s research and development division, Walmart Labs.
It’s unclear, at least to Whispers, how the device would be used, but considering the recent AR success of Pokémon Go, it could be a fun way to go through a grocery store of the future.