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Tag: Wallmart

Walmart Applies for Patent on Customer-Assisting Drones

BY MARCO MARGARITOFF

The large retailer just filed a patent for drones that would help customers with pricing and navigation assistance while in stores.

We recently reported on Walmart filing a patent for crop-fertilizing drones that could help alleviate the decreasing bee population, as well as Samsung’s plans to develop flying display drones that could potentially improve the shopping experience for customers.

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Walmart’s latest application, which details how the retail giant would use drones for customer assistance at its shopping locations.

The premise is simple, you’re at a Walmart lost in an aisle with no idea how to find your way back to the entrance. While stranded, you spot a pair of headphones you really like but the price tag is nowhere to be found. These things happen. Instead of panicking, or googling the item on your phone to gauge how much you might have to spend, you just open your Walmart app and request assistance. A short while later, a drone cruises down your aisle and not only provides you with the headphone price information you need, but leads you back to safety.

Read More: The Drive

Walmart docs hint at drones tending farms

By Nandita Bose and Tom Polansek

The world’s largest retailer has applied for six patents on drones that aim to prevent crop damage, control pests and cross-pollinate plants.

Walmart’s patent filings hint that it may see a future where farmers use its drones to not only spot crop problems but selectively apply chemicals or even disperse pollen to bring shoppers the freshest and cheapest food possible.

The world’s largest retailer applied for six patents last year on drones that aim to prevent damage to crops, control pest attacks on farms and cross-pollinate plants, according to US Patents and Trademark Office documents that have been made public.

Groceries make up 56 per cent of the company’s total revenue and Walmart may see drone technology as one way to get food from farms to store shelves faster and more cheaply to compete with Amazon.com, following its purchase of Whole Foods Market last year and the expansion of discount chains like Aldi and Lidl.

In one application, Walmart seeks to patent a system that would use drones to identify crop-damaging pests and then dispense insecticides on the critters.

Another suggests the use of drones carrying pollen dispensers to successfully pollinate crops.

Read More: news.com.au

In bid to compete with Amazon, Walmart files patents for farming drones

By Eric Brackett

Walmart has been expanding the reach of its grocery business for several years, and may be looking to use technology to make its supply chains more efficient. The retail giant has filed patents for six drones that would help automate the farming process, Business Insider reported. The full details of the drones  haven’t been revealed, but we do know that one is meant to pollinate crops, one would work to protect plants from pests, and a third would keep an eye on plant health.

While this would give Walmart more control over its supply chain, it is unlikely that the company is planning on going into the farming business. Instead, Walmart will sell these drones to partner farms in an attempt to make them more efficient. On the consumer side of things, this could mean higher supplies of fruits and vegetables and lower prices, though nothing is certain.

Paula Savanti, a senior consumer analyst at Rabobank, told Business Insider that she believes the drones will give Walmart more insight into what is happening on its farms, and allow for better response to changes in supply.

Read More: Digital Trends

Retailers See A Future For Drones Beyond Delivery

PYMNTS

Ever since 2013, when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the eCommerce giant was working on a 30-minute drone delivery program called Prime Air, people have been saying that delivery is the big retail use case for drone technology. Domino’s furthered the point by delivering a pizza by drone in 2016.

Regulatory red tape has so far kept either delivery program from becoming a reality, but the technology was there and the value proposition was clear, as retail and logistics companies worldwide struggle to solve the last-mile conundrum.

Now, however, Walmart has charged onto the scene with a new use case and a new value proposition for drones — and it may have an easier time getting around the red tape, on account of there being significantly less red tape around drones for agricultural purposes.

Reuters reports that Walmart last year applied for six patents on drones designed to prevent damage to crops, mitigate pest attacks and augment cross-pollination between plants. Documents detailing the plans became public last week from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Read More: PYMTS.com